ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : GMRT

Mains level : Not Much

The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) has been selected as a ‘Milestone’ facility by the U.S.-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Note: GMRT is not an ISRO mission.

About GMRT

  • The GMRT located near Pune is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45-metre diameter, observing at metre wavelengths.
  • It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
  • It was conceived and built under the direction of Late Prof. Govind Swarup from 1984 to 1996.
  • At the time it was built, it was the world’s largest interferometric array offering a baseline of up to 25 kilometres (16 mi).
  • Astronomers from all over the world regularly use this telescope to observe many different astronomical objects such as HII regions (interstellar atomic hydrogen that is ionized), galaxies, pulsars, supernovae, and Sun and solar winds.

A significant feat

  • IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology in all areas related to electrical and electronics engineering.
  • The IEEE Milestones programme honours significant technical achievements which have a global or regional impact. This is only the third such IEEE ‘Milestone’ recognition for an Indian contribution.
  • The previous two Indian IEEE Milestones were for the pioneering work done by Sir J.C. Bose to demonstrate the generation and reception of radio waves in 1895 (recognised in 2012), and for the Nobel Prize-winning (in 1930) ‘scattering of light’ phenomenon observed by Sir C.V. Raman in 1928.
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