Critical Technologies

NDRF has been promoting Design, Research and Development in the following critical areas to produce state of the art products by networking.

    ● Rapid Prototyping and tooling

    ● Micro & Nanotechnologies

    ● Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS)/Micro Opto Mechanical Systems (MOMS)

    ● Micro Air Vehicles

    ● Quantum Well Devices

    ● Bacteriorhodopsin

    ● Batteries and Fuel Cells

    ● Sensors

    ● Design for Quality

    ● Multi-discipline Design Optimization

    ● QMS – ISO 9001-2000

    ● Environmental Management Systems  ISO – 14001


   The following recommendations were taken.

    ● Development of Methane gas Sensor by BEL, which will be forwarded to DRDE for evaluation and testing.

    ● Research on Piezoelectric Sensors to be initiated.

    ● Simple imaging sensor to be developed for MAVs.

    ● Integrated MEMS sensors with organic membranes to be developed for toxic gases and biological agents.

    ● Feasibility of using Bacteriorhodopsin in visual and biosensor applications to be studied.

  Micro Sensor Technology

  ● Imaging VisionChips

  ● Micro-bolometer arrays

  ● Pressure MEMS

  ● Force MEMS

  ● Flow CNT

  ● Taste Artificial Tongue

  ● Odour Artificial Nose, Bio Sensors

  ● Acoustic MEMS

  ● Pathogens Biosensors

  ● Pesticides, Poisons Chemical Sensors

  ● Electro-magnetic RF MEMS

  ● Vacuum MEMS

  ● Controlled atmosphere Chemical / Pressure Sensor

  ● Radiation Ultra Pure Silicon Chip

  ● Explosives Coated CNT, MEMS, Bio sensors

Chemical and Biological sensors have emerged as accurate and sophisticated measurement devices and with near-infinite capacities for analysis, detection and have become integral part of collection and control systems in nearly every industry and market place.

To provide opportunities to the dissemination and exchange of knowledge and experience primarily among professionals of Biosensors, Biotechnology, physical and chemical sciences, engineering and Bio molecular electronics and also among the public and society at large.

To promote the rational and economic development of Biosensors, Biotechnology and Bio molecular electronics in the country so as to ensure the best interest of the community at large.


Development of a chemical or bio sensor for methane has been suggested by NDRF as a joint project of CFTRI and NAL. The sensor has applications in

    ● Food technology to detect degradation of fruits and vegetables – particularly for export markets.

    ● Coalmines to detect accumulation of Methane which can cause explosions


RP is an automatic process for manufacturing parts, prototypes, tools and even assemblies directly from their CAD models without the use of any cutters, tools or fixtures specific to the geometry of the object and without any human intervention anywhere in the process. A RP machine is a CNC machine with an embedded CAPP system for additive manufacturing. RP is also a “divide-and-conquer” manufacturing strategy in which a complex 3D manufacturing problem is converted into several 2D manufacturing problems which could be automated. The following are the benefits of RP:

● Rapid prototypes act as concept models for better visualization and communication.

● Marketing personnel can use rapid prototypes to assess the aesthetic appeal of the product by displaying them    in showrooms.

● Rapid prototypes can be used for form, fit and functional tests.

●Transparent rapid prototypes obtained from photo-polymers are ideal specimens for stress analysis using    photo-elasticity.

● Rapid prototypes can be used for wind tunnel tests.

●Assemblies can be made without joints using RP. It can make parts impossible by other manufacturing    methods.

● Rapid prototypes can be sent along with the inquiries; RP models can be submitted along with the quotations.

● There are important medical applications of RP&T in conjunction with Reverse Engineering

● Rapid Tooling cuts down product ionizing time and hence sharpens the competitive edge of the organization.

● RP emerging into Rapid Manufacturing is possible in some applications.

● With an integrated approach, RP&T can shorten time to market.

Although RP&T could make the prototypes only out of proprietary non-metallic materials and the accuracy and surface finish are not adequate, direct and indirect methods are emerging to overcome these limitations. Hybrid technologies which exploit the best features of CNC and RP are also emerging. These efforts will shortly enable making objects rapidly from their CAD models automatically out of the required material with the specified quality.

The huge investments on such RP machines as well as the high cost of these prototypes can be amortized better if the same technology is able to produce tools through direct or indirect routes. It may be noted that processes like Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and 3D Printing (3DP) are capable of producing prototypes from a wide variety of materials right from wax or polystyrene to metals. When the same technology can be extended for manufacturing parts in small batches, then it will be called Rapid Manufacturing (RM).


The mission of the education center would be to foster a lifelong interest in Micro and Nanoscience and Technology.

Topics covered in the tutorial were Basics of Micro and Nanotechnology, Micro Fabrication Process, Molecular Electronics, Micro Sensors, RF-MEMS, Micro-Fluidics and Applications of MEMS and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems (NEMS) in Telecom Industry, Automotive Industry, Biotechnology and Medical and Health care.

4. Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS)/Micro Opto Mechanical Systems (MOMS)

The following topics were covered in the course,

    ● Introduction to Micro machining by lasers

    ● Laser Sources

    ● Optical Systems for micromachining

    ● Interaction with laser radiation with matter

    ● Laser micro shaping of micromechanical components

    ● Laser assisted thin films processing

    ● Laser technology for micro-optical components fabrication

    ● Laser technology for fiber-optical components fabrication

    ● Laser assisted micro technology for photonics material processing

    ● New trends in laser assisted micro technology


MAVs can be utilized very effectively in:

● Disaster management ( Fire, floods, earthquakes, landslides, gas leaks, search and  rescue)

● Defence / Security (Surveillance, Reconnaissance, communication relay, electronic warfare, mine/NBC detection,    traffic control)

● Commercial (Agricultural, photography, television, cinema)

● R&D (Evaluation of new concepts)

The Concept of Micro Air Vehicles has gained increasing interest over the past few years, with the principal aim of the carrying out surveillance missions. In contrast to higher-level reconnaissance assets like satellites and high latitude UAVs, MICAVs will be operated by and for the individual soldier in the field as a platoon-level asset, providing local reconnaissance and acquire real-time visual information for a wide range of applications keeping personnel out of harm’s way by providing unprecedented situational awareness.

The Primary mission interest of MICAVs is surveillance and reconnaissance at battlefields and urban areas both day and night. These real time images provide vital information which is otherwise difficult to obtain. The advancement of sensor technology of smaller sizes has med possible missions like detection of targets of interests, biological agents, chemical compounds and nuclear materials. Envisioned civil operations are search and rescue operation in case of fire, earthquake and air sampling and gas detection – in places where it may not be possible to send humans for the job. Use of MICAV can also be very cost effective once the development unit is achieved.


The project envisages the developmental of GaAs based Multijunction Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIPS) using Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) technique.  The work proposed in the present programme consists of the development of multi junction QWIPS. This project is designed for a period of 36 months, which consists of basic development and demonstration of a prototype device with a suitability of technology for the productionization. Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors are based on NANO layers of GaAs and Al GaAs.

A QWIP element using 30 alternating nanolayers of Gallium Arsenide and Aluminum Gallium Arsenide has been fabricated successfully for the first time in India by the IISc-BEL group under the QWIP project imitated by NDRF. The good response obtained in the 3-5 micro windows was considered a major achievement by the monitoring committee which met on 26 August 2004.

Preparation and characterization of more elements are in progress to verify repeatability and fine turning of the QWIP structure.


● Overproduction of bacteriorhodopsin  (bR) has been achieved. This activity is required on on-going base for    providing materials for collaborators in the country in this area, large scale productions has to be standardized.

● Genetically Engineered bR mutants have been constructed. New range of mutants into infrared region is under    development.

●A new methodology to construct bR based biomaterials has been optimized. Structural and spectroscopic    characterization has to be completed.

● 3 US patents have been field.

● First biotechnological bR based artifical retina has been demonstrated with 1×8 and 40×40 pixel data.

● Color recognition using bR mutants

● Microarray based pixelization

● Structural characterization of bR mutants and novel analogs to be completed

● Development of electronics interface through collaborations.

● It is envisaged that a self-contained artificial retina suitable for robotic applications would be made available.


● Specs of a Hydrogen Research and micro fuel cell of MAVs have also been given to Director NMRL to examine feasibilities of development.

● Fuel cells appear very promising and it is proposed to promote this activity more aggressively at the Lab and Industry level by networking.


India has been recognised as a good design base for VLSI. In the context of globalisation, cost effective quality designs are required and engineers need to be trained in Design for Quality. Hence it is proposed to run a course on Design for Quality along with Engineering Staff College of India (ESCI) and other institutions to meet the requirements of Defence sector.


NDRF conducted one-day awareness programme on Environmental Management systems ISO 14001 on 4th February 2006 at The Institution of Engineers (India), Bangalore.Sri HRS Rao, Managing Director Quest (P) Limited, delivered key note address explaining the importance of EMS 14001 in to-days fast life and methods to save     our earth which is logistics natural ambience and heading towards global warming. He stressed the need of human-attitude for developing a pollution free atmosphere which can save the mankind. Subsequently Mr. B. Thyagaraja, Ex-Chairman, Indian society for Training and Development and Er. G. Venkatarathnam Joint Advisor, NDRF were the faculty members who conducted one day programme on ISO 14001 dealing with documentation, Government legislations and certification process. The delegates from K. Mohan & Co. (P) Ltd., Traus Logistics International, Millipore Technologies and Retired Mining Engineers attended. Certificates were issued to above participants who attended the seminar.


NDRF and the Institution of Engineers (India), Karnataka State Centre to undertaken Consultancy of re-location of Arms Storage Structure, an ancient

Archeological monument/heritage structure, existing near Srirangapatna Railway Station. A lot of Research and Design work is involved in this project and NDRF is appropriate wing of IEI to take up this work. The project is supported by Southern Railways and Government of Karnataka.

NDRF undertake a Preliminary Feasibility Study. The nature of the project in first in the country having very complex and construction details. No of meeting held with experts, consultants and with officers of Southern Railway and Government of Karnataka.


The National Design and Research Forum and the Institution of Engineers (India), Karnataka State Centre, organized a programme dedicated to “Standardization and Quality Assurance” on 14 December 2006 in collaboration with Bureau of Indian Standards and Association of Consulting Civil Engineers, India.

The programme was in two parts – first part comprised of “Lal C Verman Memorial Lecture” by Padmabhushan Dr Roddam Narasimha, Chairman, Engineering Mechanics Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and the second part comprised of a half day Workshop on “The Role of Chartered Engineers in Strengthening the Revised Product Certification (ISI Mark) Schemes of BIS”.

Padmabhushan Dr Roddam Narasimha delivered a very thought provoking lecture on the theme of “Standardization” highlighting his experience in the field of aerospace structures.  With specific field problems, he enumerated the importance of standardization and the fact why standardization should be flexible and should get updated as Science and Technology advances.

In the workshop which followed, the simplifications being contemplated by BIS for Product Certifications and the role of Chartered Engineers in the revised scheme were brought out, particularly by the BIS representatives. In the subsequent, interactive session, a few leading engineers from different disciplines came out with further suggestions for improvements in the proposed scheme. The programme was well attended by over 200 engineers from different disciplines.

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