Venkaiah Naidu to launch new facilities at IIA

Venkaiah Naidu to launch new facilities at Indian Institute of Astrophysics

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will visit the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) campus in Hoskote on Tuesday to inaugurate two units which are set to play a critical role in larger multinational astronomy projects.

Dr Annapurni Subarnamanian, the director, IIA, described the VP’s visit as being an academic engagement that will see Naidu inaugurate a large segment polishing facility for the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT), a proposed extremely large telescope due to take shape on Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii.

The second unit is the Environment Test Facility (ETF), which has been set up at the M G K Menon Laboratory for Space Sciences, a state of the cleanroom. The ETF will help with the integration and calibration of space payloads. 

“The UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) onboard India’s multiwavelength space mission was tested, calibrated, and integrated at this facility,” IIA said, adding that the Visible Emission line Coronagraph is also being built in the lab, which will be deployed in Aditya-L1 soon.

Dr Annapurni said that the institute now plans to set up a new state-of-the-art National Large Solar Telescope in the Himalayas.

“With this facility and the Aditya-L1 space telescope, India will be in the forefront in understanding the Sun and the space weather,” she said.

The IIA’s Center for Research and Education in Science and Technology (CREST) at Hoskote, 35 km northeast of Bengaluru, also houses the control room for the Two Metre Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), Hanle, Ladakh.

Naidu will also witness the remote operation of the Two Metre Chandra Telescope.