Father of SAR technology: Distinguished scientist Tapan Misra

Newsroom24x7 Network

Newsroom24x7 has been introducing and calling him the father of SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) technology. Yes, we are talking of distinguished scientist Tapan Misra, whose contribution to India’s Space Programme and Space Application Centre, as it’s Director, is immense. The nation should have honoured him with nothing less than a Padma Vibhushan, the second highest national honour after Bharat Ratna, and we strongly feel that the list of Padma Awardees announced on the 73rd Republic Day is incomplete without Tapan’s name in it. This raises a question mark on the selection process for this purpose.

Tapan Misra

Today Tapan Misra received his patent, based on his work carried out in the last year of his service with the Department of Space. The patent is one of the most significant contributions in SAR system configuration. A strip map SAR with resolution performance of a spotlight SAR. Unlike in spotlight SAR, the imaging based on Tapan’s invention will be a continuous one. In spotlight SAR, as the name suggests, the imaging is limited to a small spot of terrain.

Typically a spotlight SAR gives imaging on 5kmx5km spot with better than 1 m resolution. In RISAT-1, the spot size was increased with innovation to 10km(across flight direction)x100km(along flight direction) and the resolution was 0.6 m. Now with this patented technology, the swath can be as high as 30 km with a resolution of 0.6 m but imaging extent along flight direction will remain unlimited.

The whole dynamics and potential of the latest invention by Tapan Misra will be a boon – especially for the Defence Sector – Newsroom24x7

N S Pillai, one of the doyens of radar technology in India, initiated the SAR activity in ISRO. He shaped Tapan Misra with his imagination and inspiration. On Misra’s superannuation, he wrote him in January 2021, the following message:

“You became the pillar of the systems division and brought a great insight into the complex Synthetic Aperture Radar technology and helped Space Applications Centre, ISRO to become a pioneer in this advanced technology. Starting with the development of the first C band Airborne SAR in the country, we progressed quickly up and built the world class Radar Imaging Satellite RISAT 1 carrying a high resolution multimode Synthetic Aperture Radar. Though many contributed to this project, I don’t think without you we could have built this sophisticated state of the art radar successfully overcoming so many unknowns boldly and innovatively. You are not the one to go on the beaten track. You never looked for any precedence and you boldly tried out new ideas. You had introduced new concepts in the building and checking out the large active array antenna. You also came out with the stretched spotlight SAR concepts to achieve ten times larger spot size with extremely fine resolution. You went on to guide the group as Deputy Director to build world class Radiometers, Scatterometers, high resolution SARS, Altimeters etc.”

“In fact, you can derive a great sense of satisfaction today when ISRO is jointly developing a dual-frequency multimode SAR satellite NISAR with JPL/NASA who launched the first SAR satellite SEASAT in 1978. This credit goes to you largely.”

“Then, as Director Space Applications Centre you guided the centre to build world class communication and remote sensing payloads and processing systems. Your intelligence, wide knowledge base, innovative thinking, extreme dedication and integrity made you a great leader of the Centre in particular and the organisation in general. In spite of your serious personal health issues and problems related to your special child, your first priority was always work. For you, organisation came first. I still remember with admiration your presence in the office the very next day after getting discharged from the hospital after a life saving critical operation. I also very much admired your sense of humour and friendly dealings with all levels of colleagues.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.