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Prof. O P N Calla,FIEEE, FNAE, Dist. FIETE, FIE, FGAS, FVEDA, MGBMS, did his Post graduation (ME) in Electronics from Birla Engineering College PILANI and was awarded with a silver medal in college. At the time of retirement in December 1995, He was Scientist 'H' and Deputy Director, Satellite Communication Area of SAC, Ahmedabad. He is responsible for initiating the work in the field of Microwave Remote Sensing in India. He is known as Father of Microwave Remote Sensing in India. Presently, He is Director of ICRS from May 1996 and continues to work in the field of Microwave Application and Design & Development of Hardware.
After completing his Masters, Prof OPN Calla was involved in research and development work at Atomic Energy Establishment and INCOSPAR from 1962-70. He is involved in Microwave Remote Sensing of Planets. The Water ice on Moon using Mini SAR of Chandrayan-I was detected by ICRS. Also will be detected using the Microwave Sensor data of Chandrayan-II for analysing LUNAR Surface.
From 1962 – 1963 he was involved in the RADAR Development at AEET (BARC). He made radar transponders during 1964 – 1969. The First Rocket Borne Microwave Payload was also developed by him during this time only. In 1969 he went to study at Hughes Aircraft Company Ltd, USA about satellite communications. In 1970, He was appointed as Head Electronics Division of Microwave Antenna Systems Engineering Group (MASEG) and Secretary MASEG. At MID he developed Low Cost Antenna for Rural TV for Site Experiment. He also developed feed for satellite communication earth station. In 1972 appointed as Head of Microwave Division, ISRO and was responsible for development of dual polarized feed for troposcatter and satellite communication antenna feeds. From 1977-85 worked as Chairman, Communications Area of Space Applications Centre (SAC) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and as Principal Scientist and Responsible for Development of Satellite Microwave Radiometer (SAMIR), one of the primary payloads of BHASKARA-I & II Satellites. India was Third Country in World to have put Microwave Remote Sensing Payload SAMIR onboard Satellite BHASKARA. In 1985-88 designated as Programme Director, Microwave Remote Sensing Programme of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He was responsible for development of Airborne SLAR. In 1986 as Programme Director MRSP he generated MRS Programme Document. From 1985 till December 1995 worked as Deputy Director, Satellite Communications Area of SAC, Ahmedabad, ISRO.
He was member of Research Council and Executive Council of CEERI Pilani for number of years and provided support for development of First 20 Watt Travelling wave Tube (TWT) in C band in India by CEERI Pilani which was successfully tested in the small Jeep mounted Earth Station developed by Communication Area of Space Application Centre Ahmedabad. He was always favoring the idea of development of GYROTRON by CEERI Pilani during the time when he was member of Research Council. He also was keen during that time that CEERI should take up the development of Space borne TWTs to be used by ISRO.
During his Chairmanship of Communication Area, where he was Project Director of STEP and Chairman of Apple Communication Payload Coordination Committee and Chairman of Master control facility for INSAT, he utilized High and Medium Power Microwave Vacuum Tubes in Fixed large Earth Stations, Transportable Earth Stations and Small Earth Station for satellite communication.
Prof. Calla has been responsible for research in the field of Microwaves including Antenna, Propagation, and Remote Sensing. Also he was involved in the applications of Microwaves in Remote Sensing and Communication and responsible for satellite Communications and Microwave Remote Sensing Program. He was First Indian to have made space worthy Microwave hardware in India which was used successfully in enhancing the tracking range of radar for tracking long-range rockets from TERLS Thumba. For this Rocket borne Transponder, He developed S- band Microwave Vacuum tube Transmitter using PENCIL Tubes. He is First Indian to have developed Ground based, Airborne, Rocket Borne and Satellite borne Microwave Hardware.
At ICRS in last 12 years the work related to measurement of electrical properties of natural earth materials, Lossy and Loss-less materials used for missiles and the terrestrial Analogue of Lunar soil is being done. He has used satellite data of passive sensors for different Microwave Remote Sensing application. As Principal Investigator, conducted first ever in India, a National Project of the Propagation Studies for Satellite Communication at 13/18 GHz using ATS – 6 Satellite in 1975–76. Also the climate zones for India were redefined for the purpose of satellite communication. For site project worked on determination of TV transmitter location (at PIJ) for Terrestrial transmission of TV signals obtained from ATS-6 satellite. He has worked on various simulations and development projects these are; (1) Feasibility study report on use of Microwave Instruments for SNOW study (SASE, DRDO), (2) Propagation studies for Line of sight Link over sea (ITR, DRDO), (3) Study of High Resolution Radar (LRDE, DRDO), (4) Multipath Studies (RCI, DRDO), (5) Determination of Surface and Subsurface Water Content Using Microwave Techniques (DTRL, DRDO), (6) To Study and Establish Methodology for Measurement of Complex Dielectric Constant of Solid at Microwave Frequencies for Radome Application (RCI, DRDO), (7) Measurement of Dielectric Constant of Dielectric Materials at S-Band (2.2 - 2.3 GHZ) (RCI, DRDO), (8) To Study and Establish the Methodology for Measurement of the Complex Dielectric Constant of Snow at Microwave Frequencies (SASE, Chandigarh), (9) Design & Development of Radiometer operating at 6.93GHz (SASE, Chandigarh), (10) Design and Analysis of Rectangular Corrugated Horn Antenna (Defense Lab Jodhpur) (11) To study and establish methodology for measurement of the complex dielectric constant of Terrestrial Analogues of Lunar Soil (Planetary Sciences and Exploration Programme (PLANEX) Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad). And currently working on the projects (1) Simulation of SMOS Brightness Temperature (BT) using Radiative Transfer Model and Retrieval of Salinity from SMOS BT in open seas (Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad). (2) Design and Development of Rectangular Corrguated Horn antenna operating at frequency range of 8-18 GHz (EP & IPR, DRDO, New Delhi). (3) Determination of Soil Moisture over INDIA using Space Borne Passive Microwave Sensors onboard SMOS (MOES, Delhi). (4) Physical and Electrical Modelling of the Lunar Surface Using mini-SAR Data of Chandrayaan-1 and LRO Mini-RF (PRL, Ahmedabad) . During this period at ICRS, He has trained more than 100 UG Students and around 10 PG students and Doctoral Students. By Now more than 500 papers have been presented and published in National, International Conferences and Journals.
Prof. Calla is involved in Microwave Remote Sensing of Planets. He proposed the microwave payload for the study of water vapour in the atmosphere of Mars and study of water-ice on and below the Martian surface for the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which was accepted but due to the power and weight limitations of MOM it could not be carried with the other payloads. Prof. Calla has been constantly in communication with ISRO for the study of planets using microwave techniques. He has also proposed the study of atmosphere of the surface of Venus using microwave sensors. At International Centre for Radio Science, Terrestrial Analogues of Lunar and Martian soil are available. Data of Chandrayaan-1 has also been analysed at International Centre for Radio Science. The dielectric constant measurement of Terrestrial Analogues of Lunar Soil and measurements of Circular Polarization Ratio were also taken up at ICRS which are close enough to the actual soil and surface characteristics of Moon. On the basis of these analysis the presence of water-ice is confirmed in the Hermite-A crater of Moon. ICRS also has suggested the Possible landing sites for Chandrayaan 2 Rover on the Lunar South pole. Recently, the experiments proposed by Prof. Calla for Chandrayaan-2 are also accepted by Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad. In this proposed work regolith dielectric constant. surface roughness, geomorphological features, regolith layering and deposits of water-ice in permanently Shadowed Regions (PSRs) will be analysed and observed by using L and S band SAR and Radiometric mode of Chandrayaan-2. The International Centre for Radio Science is the only Non-Governmental Organisation where all Microwave measurements facilities are available from frequency range of 1 to 40 GHz. Probably, ICRS is the only Non-Governmental Organisation in India that is working in this field.
He was honored with Hari Om Ashram Award by PRL Ahmedabad in 1978 for the contribution in the field of Satellite Communications, Ram Lal Wadhwa Gold Medal in 1979 by IETE, Delhi for contribution in the field of Electronics and Communications for last 10 years, President of India’s Prize (Hindi) for 1984-85 for the paper titled “Modern Maritime Satellite Communication System – INMARSAT” which was published in the Journal of Institution of Engineers (India), Calcutta Vol.65, Part Hindi 3, April 1985, Consolation Prize for Hindi Book titled ‘Antariksh Mein Bharat’ under the Indira Gandhi Rajbhasha Scheme for the year 1986-87 for writing original Hindi book, Certificate of Merit for 1992-93 by Institution of Engineers (India), Calcutta for the paper entitled “Meteorological Satellites” published in their journal and by now he has published more than 500 papers. He has been conferred Marwar Ratna Award for year 2007 by Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur, Lions club award, 2007 by Lions club west Jodhpur. He also served as President of IETE in the year 1991. He was Chairman of Ahmedabad Chapter of IETE, CSI, ISRS, IMS and GBMS. Recently he has received Lifetime Achievement Award from VEDA. He was awarded by ISM, the ISM-2010 Pioneer in Microwave Acedemics Award in 2010, and was Confered ISM 2010 Pioneer in Microwave Engineering. From Jan 2013 he has been elevated to FELLOW of IEEE. Among the only two IEEE GRSS fellows in India, he is one of them. In 2014, he was honoured with Satish Kunti Goyal International Award by Satish Kunti Goyal foundation, Jodhpur and in 2015, Vraksh Bandhu Puraskar by Aadhyatmik Paryavaran Sanasthan Jodhpur. In 2018, Giants welfare foundation honoured him with Giants Achiever Award, 2018 for outstanding services in the field of science and technology .
Prof. OPN Calla is the only Indian Scientist who had the opportunity to develop microwave hardware for Ground base equipment, Airborne equipment, rocket borne equipment and Satellite based instrument.
Prof. O.P.N. Calla besides these Scientific and Technical activities also has been working during drought in Rajasthan along with Sanyasis of Shri Ramakrishna Mission Jaipur in organizing Cattle Camp and distribution of fodder to Cattle. When he was at Ahmedabad there also along with Sanyasis of Shri Ramakrishna Math Rajkot worked for the relief work during drought and other calamities. He was president of Ramakrishna Vivekananda center Ahemdabad.
He was Chairman of Governing Body of Mahila vidhi Maha Vidyalaya. He is life member of WAVES. He is president of Ramakrishna Sevaashram Jodhpur. Prof. OPN Calla has been working on Broadband antennas and RADAR for Communication and Defense applications. He has also been involved in detecting cyclones like Neelam and cyclone Thane through microwaves. He is also working on the mapping of Lunar surface.
Prof. OPN Calla has been working on cell tower radiation hazards and solutions for last few months in Jodhpur and indicated the critical areas and also with the help of media he had been involved in awaking the common man of society about the radiation hazards. His campaign was basically focused on the areas near schools and hospitals which resulted into either reduction of cell tower radiation or cell towers in those areas. He has been worshiping MICROWAVES from last four decades. In Future also he will continue the same to fulfill the needs of the LAST MAN OF THE SOCIETY which could be a farmer, fisherman or a person living in snow bound areas.
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