Research Corner

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Technology Gap Analysis for Channapatna Toys Cluster

This project is funded by TIFAC under MSME scheme to carry out Technology Gap Analysis for Channapatna Toys Cluster. The project is investigated by Dr. G. Devakumar (PI) from FMC; Mrs. Savitha Kulkarni (Co-PI) from FMC and Dr. R. Suresh (Co-PI) from FET. Based on the Expression of Interest submitted by the Cluster Members, Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences submitted the proposal as an academic partner for conducting the Technology Gap Analysis to TIFAC, New Delhi.

The aim of this research study is to identify and verify the technology gaps which can be leveraged to reduce the manufacturing cost of the toys without any compromise in the quality pertaining to Cluster Members of Channapatna Toys Cluster.

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Design and Development of High Performance Magnetostrictive Cobalt Ferrite Thin Films for Sensors and Actuator Applications

This proposal is funded by DST-SERB, Government of India and investigated by Dr. Anantharamaiah P. N. from Faculty of Mathematical Physical and Sciences and Dr. S. Srikari from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. Magnetostriction is a smart process in which ferri/ferro magnetic materials change their dimensions (size and shape) under the influence of an external magnetic field. The below illustrates a ferromagnetic rod of length (L) undergoes change in length (ΔL) in the presence of the applied magnetic field (H>0).

Magnetostrictive smart materials, in thin films form, are vital components for designing various contemporary technological devices including non-contact micro actuators and sensors. Magnetostriction strain (λ) and strain sensitivity (dλ/dH) are two important parameters that decide suitability of the materials for wide range of applications. Among the spinel ferrites, cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4) exhibits better magnetostriction properties, at room temperature, both in single crystal (~600 ppm) and polycrystalline (~400 ppm) forms, due to spin-orbit coupling governed by the presence of Co2+ at the octahedral sites of the spinel ferrite lattice. Magnetostrictive properties of single crystal and sintered polycrystalline cobalt ferrites have been documented in the literature. However, studies on the magnetostriction characteristics of cobalt ferrite thin films are yet to be explored systematically. Therefore, it is an imperative to develop a technical strategy to fabricate cobalt ferrite thin films and investigate their magnetostriction characteristics not only aiming for technological applications but also to understand their important rudimentary theoretical aspects.

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Assessment of Liquefaction Potential through Analytical Methods

This project is funded by AERB and investigated by Dr. S. D. Anitha Kumari, Ms. Nimmy Mariam Abraham and Mr. Abhishek P. V. from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, RUAS.

During earthquakes, there is a sudden increase in pore water pressure. This decreases the effective stress of the soil deposit leading to the loss of shear strength. However, the sudden loss can cause severe damages to structures founded on such soils. This underlines the necessity of understanding the progressive loss of strength during dynamic loading resulting in liquefaction. Liquefaction assessment can be broadly classified into: (i) Empirical Methods (ii) Analytical Methods.

In this research, the application of analytical methods to predict the behaviour of the soil deposits when subjected to earthquake loading is investigated. A comparison of the analytically obtained results with the empirically obtained methods will help to understand the applicability of the various methods for the liquefaction potential assessment.

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Multi Stream Automatic Speech Recognition for Children’s Speech using Artificial Bandwidth Extension Algorithms

This proposal is funded by Vision Group of Science and Technology, Government of Karnataka and investigated by Dr. Sunil Y. from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. This proposal aims at designing a multi stream automatic speech recognition algorithm for children speech enhanced by ABWE and B-ABE algorithms. The outcome of the proposed project will be useful in interactive learning and gaming application for children.

There are two main striking differences between the children’s and adults’ speech production systems. The short vocal tract length in case of children affects the formants and their bandwidths. The very thin vocal folds result in faster vibration with small fundamental period or high fundamental frequency values. These aspects lead to high non-stationarity in case of children’s speech. This, poor Automatic Speech Recognition performance.

A more commonly used approach for minimizing the difference between children’s and adults’ speech resulting due to the change in vocal tract dimensions is Vocal Tract Length Normalization (VTLN). The VTLN is a speaker normalization method in which the interspeaker acoustic variability due to varying vocal tract lengths, i.e., the mismatch due to difference in the formant frequencies among speakers is reduced by warping the frequency axis of the speech spectrum of each speaker.Artificial Band Width Extended (ABWE) speech improves the performance of automatic speech recognition. ABWE speech has two components, original lower band (300-3400 Hz) speech and the generated/synthesized higher band (3400-8000 Hz) speech. Reliability of the lower band and higher band speech are different. An algorithm to dynamically weigh the streams can be incorporated to improve the speech recognition performance. Binaural Artificial Bandwidth Extension (B-ABE) for speech has two streams; one for the left ear and the other for right ear. Human auditory system can dynamically focus on the more intelligible signal.

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Performance Evaluation of UHF Cognitive Radio Links for Wireless Sensor Applications in Health and Precision Agriculture

This proposal is funded by Vision Group of Science and Technology, Government of Karnataka and investigated by Dr. Pallaviram Sure from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. In the current era of information processing, applications of Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) are tremendously increasing. With the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), a variety of devices form a WSN for intercommunication of information exchange. Multitude of such Device to Device (D2D) communication links increase the traffic payload of existing radio communication systems viz. 4G and WiFi.

This project aims to investigate the diversion of traffic payload to unoccupied Ultra High Frequency (UHF) bands, by designing a cognitive radio communication link. The traffic payloads considered in the project are sensor data collected at the nodes deployed in farmlands as a part of precision agriculture and data collected as a part of patient health monitoring. Conventionally these data are transmitted to a cloud, using either 4G or WiFi links while this project investigates transmission via UHF cognitive radio links.

The project involves Universal Software Radio Peripheral modules that are programmed as primary and secondary links in the UHF band. The primary communication link simulates the real-time UHF spectrum occupancy, while the secondary (cognitive radio) link serves as the transmission of the considered traffic payload. A spectrum sensing algorithm is incorporated in the sensing module of the cognitive transmitter. Performance of the cognitive radio link is evaluated using probability of detection versus Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) and Bit Error Rate versus SNR.

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Enhancement of Aerodynamic Performance of a Low Speed Wind Turbine for Offshore Power Generation

This project is being supported by Vision Group of Science and Technology (V.G.S.T), Dept. Information Technology, Biotechnology & Science and Technology, Karnataka Govt. under the scheme K-FIST II and investigated by Dr. Mahesh K. Varpe of Faculty of Engineering and Technology.

In recent decades, the economical energy extraction and environmental concerns have drawn the focus on the development of efficient wind turbines. This has also influenced the size and complexity of modern commercial horizontal axis wind turbines.

Recently, ideas and techniques like tubercles and protuberances inspired from the marine life have been gaining the momentum in the wind turbine research. Within last decade, researchers have investigated the effects of tubercles on the airfoil aerodynamic and some performance gains have been reported. However, the detailed understanding of flow physics is still lacking to arrive at the promising technique. Similarly, the available published literature reporting the benefits of the techniques like blade-sweep, winglets and so forth, which are quite successful in gas turbines are very few. With current computational power, it is possible to develop and refine these techniques for implementation in wind turbine to improve their performance in low wind speed conditions. Further, the reduction in the turbine failure and the manufacturing cost of wind turbines could be achieved by a reliable and accurate aerodynamic models. The net benefits of such novel techniques as applied to wind turbines could be realized by design validation and systematic experimental studies.

Ongoing research and development has to modify the fundamental design of wind turbines, in order to bypass some of the limitations and environmental concerns of conventional HAWTs. Wind deployment continues to dominate by onshore wind, supported by continual cost reductions. India has achieved nearly 2.3 GW of new installations by 2016 with the largest capacity of 1GW at Muppandal Wind Park. Although, New and Renewable Energy has introduced an offshore wind policy targeting 1 GW by 2020, there is currently limited offshore wind or poor wind profile in India which makes the conventional wind turbine ineffective. This demands radical designs including passive flow controls to achieve the envisaged goals. Offshore wind installations may not only become a major contributor to wind power it also improves wind energy employment.

On domestic front, small-scale wind turbines can meet some of the needs of agricultural sector, household needs and remote places. Further, rooftop wind turbines can reduce the load on the power grid and may contribute to it as well. These considerations demand systematic research approach to develop novel techniques to enhance the aerodynamic performance of the wind turbine for offshore installations. In this direction, the author’s endeavor is to enhance aerodynamic performance and operating range of existing wind turbine to harness the wind power in the regions with poor wind profile.

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Synthesis and Characterisation of a Novel Bio Active Theobromine Composite Resin as a Dental Restorative Material using Nanofiber Technology

This is an Indian Council of Medical Research funded project being investigated by Dr. Pushpalatha C.  from Faculty of Dental Sciences, Dr. S. Srikari from Faculty of Engineering and Technology, and Dr. Deveswaran. R from Faculty of Pharmacy. The aim of the project is to synthesize and characterize Theobromine Based Nanofiber Composite with acrylate resins as a restorative Dental material.

In this project, nanotechnology is used for the restoration of missing tooth due to hard pathologies. This novel strategy enhances the mechanical and bio-physicochemical properties, reduces polymerization shrinkage, and rebuilds enamel by apatite precipitation. Further, this approach facilitates combating of caries at preventive and restorative stages.

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Design and Development of a 3-DOF Bionic Hand with Control-Assist Mode Functionality

This project is funded by LSRB, DRDO and investigated by Dr. Preetham Shankapal, Prof. Govind R. Kadambi and Mr. Praveen L.S. from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, RUAS. A complete Hand prosthesis weighs between 9 to 11 kg which is quite a big physical adjustment for an amputee. Weight and material of the prosthesis are known as crucial challenges as they affect the patient by creating an impact on his/her centre of gravity. The other main setback of such prosthesis is the cost. Moreover, costs also depend on the technology involved in developing the Hand. On the other hand, rehabilitating amputees who have lost their upper extremities decades ago is a big challenge. For such individuals, EMG based Hands do not work and they would need assist mode based devices.

This research is aimed at developing a 3-DOF Bionic Hand which operates on both EMG as well as keypad/foot pressure key like assist mode. The 3D printed Hand would weigh about 2-3 kg and function efficiently to carry or hold objects of 250 g. With the developed Hand, amputees would require minimal or no rehabilitation as an envisaged output.

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Prognostic Significance of ALDH1, Bmi1 & OCT4 in Oral Epithelial Dysplasia and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This project is funded by VGST, GoK under Research Fund for Talented Teachers (RFTT) scheme and investigated by Dr. Roopa S. Rao from Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, RUAS.

Ambiguity exists in assessing metastatic potential, recurrence and prognosis of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC). Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) are radio-resistant which enable them to survive through the treatment process causing the tumor to recur often. The identification of specific stem cell markers helps to predict tumor behavior. Moreover, it will also enable Physicians to make a definitive decision whether to undertake radical neck dissection or not. An attempt to establish the role of these stem cell markers in Oral Epithelial Dysplasia & Metastatic and Non Metastatic OSCC is carried out.

This research work would be a preliminary step to undertake genetic studies that will facilitate to help pinpoint tumor specific genes responsible for metastasis. Genetic signatures of metastatic tumors can be determined with the help of microarrays and next generation sequencing. This project helps to develop key targets for the CSCs, thereby, sparing the normal cells adversely affected by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

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Evaluation and Correlation of the Prognosis of Cystic Lesions to Decompression by Clinical, Histological, Radiographic Assessment and Molecular Marker Expression

This project is funded by VGST, GoK under Seed Money to Young Scientists for Research (SMYSR) scheme and investigated by Dr. Parimala Sagar from Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dental Sciences, RUAS.

Keratocystic Odontogenic Tumor (KCOT) and Unicystic Ameloblastoma (UA) are benign odontogenic tumors. Most clinicians consider wide jaw resection as the treatment of choice because of its high rate of recurrence specially the KCOT. However, radical surgery leads to functional, aesthetic and psychological morbidities. Functional morbidities due to loss of teeth include inability to chew /difficulty in mastication, speech and swallowing difficulties, sensory disturbances, etc. Moreover, extensive jaw resection will lead to facial deformity and associated psychological trauma. Decompression of these tumors followed by enucleation will preserve function and aesthetics. This is also the recommended treatment of choice when it occurs in children. Studies also suggest that, with decompression the molecular markers involved in tumor invasion are altered and the lesions behave less aggressively. Hence, this study is proposed to prove the effectiveness of decompression clinically and radiologically using molecular markers. This will build evidence to adopt conservative approaches as treatment of choice in these benign cystic tumors, so that the jaw resections are reserved only for solid benign and malignant tumors. This project will be carried out as a retrospective/prospective study involving 50 incident cases. The subjects will be followed-up to study the changes following decompression on cystic lesions. The findings of the study will be helpful in the optimal management of cystic lesions.

In short, the proposed study aims to prove the effectiveness of decompression followed by enucleation clinically and substantiate the same using molecular markers with adequate sample size for achieving statistically significant results.

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Design and Analysis of an Integrated Optic Microring Resonator Array Based Sensor System for Detection of Multiple Gases

This project is funded by ISRO, Ahmedabad under RESPOND scheme and being investigated by Dr. S. Malathi, PI, Dr. Ugra Mohan Roy, Co-PI and Ms. Karanam Pallavi Koushik, JRF from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, RUAS. The main objective of the project is to develop an integrated optical gas sensor for simultaneous detection of multiple gases using micro ring resonator array.

Detection of hazardous gases is an essential task for military and civilian applications. For detection of gases metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors have been extensively used in various Industries. Silicon Photonics is a promising technological platform in Gas sensing domain. Hence, the proposed device can be fabricated by standard CMOS technology which opens a possibility of inexpensive volume production. The proposed Integrated Optic microring resonator array with selective coating/cladding works at room temperature and highly sensitive to the variation in refractive index of the surrounding.

The proposed research embodies a hazardous gas cloud (mixture of various gases such as Ammonia, Carbon monoxide and Methane) when interacted with the sensor array results in shift in resonant wavelength of the resonator and each element of the array would interact with a particular gas based on the functionalized cladding layer. Based on the wavelength shift the gaseous presence is identified.

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R & D Centre on Composite Materials and Technologies

This is a Karnataka Council for Technology Upgradation (KCTU), Government of Karnataka funded project investigated by Dr. Rahul M. Cadambi, Dr. M. C. Murugesh and Mr. Harsha G. Patil from Faculty of Engineering and Technology, RUAS. The main objective of the proposed Research Centre is to develop core competencies and expertise in developing the out-of-autoclave composite manufacturing process like resin infusion process.

Resin infusion techniques involves use of dry fibres or fabrics wherein the resin is infused or injected in vacuum and cured to final part. Cost is the main advantage due to use of preforms, which offers one-shot solutions for complex structures, single sided tools, integral and large structures and faster material layup.

The proposed research work will involve the development of new resin infusion manufacturing technique for composite structures by combining and modifying the existing infusion techniques. The process parameters will be suitably modified to increase fibre volume fraction and reduce voids in composites. The outcome of the investigations will help academia and industry to develop a new manufacturing process and arrive at suitable resin-fibre mixture for developing the composite structures.

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R & D Centre for Automated Farm Machinery Design and Development for Small Farmers

This is a Karnataka Council for Technology Upgradation (KCTU), Government of Karnataka funded project being investigated by Dr. N. C. Mahendra Babu, Dr. A.C. Lokesh, Mr Balappa B.U. and Mr. Srinivasa from the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, RUAS. The main aim of the R&D centre is to take up design and development activities of farm mechanization solution in collaboration with farm machinery manufacturers.

Farm mechanization has the potential to expand production; improve timeliness of operations; widen the application of power to crop processing; compensate for labour shortages and alleviate drudgery. In Indian context agricultural mechanization support especially to the smallholder sector can have a dramatic impact in moving farm families out of poverty into a more profitable, commercially oriented agriculture. Moreover, agricultural machinery industry should provide more support to smallholder farmers with equipment designs and models that better suit the needs of smallholder farmers. Without this change in the machinery sector, the needs of our Country for food security, poverty alleviation, economic growth and environmental protection cannot be achieved.

At present in India, utilization of farm machines for specific purposes has remained low compared to utilization of farm power in the form of tractor/ power tiller. This is due to various reasons and one major reason being appropriateness of available machines. Other two important reasons are low purchasing power and low utilization level due to small land holdings. The average farm size in India is small (less than 2 ha) as compared to the European Union (14 ha) and the United States (170 ha). Therefore, there will be little mechanization unless machines appropriate for small holdings are made available or substantial farm amalgamation takes place. Considering Indian farming conditions, there are enormous number of competitive demands of the agricultural sector. These varied demands have created a push for increasing complexity regarding customer needs for agricultural machinery. In order to address these competitive demands, systematic and structured approaches become essential to support the development of innovative and effective products suitable for Indian conditions. At present, majority of Indian companies operating in the agricultural machinery sector use an informal product development process. This is most apparent in small and medium sized companies whose products are usually developed based on adaptations of existing, previously commercialized solutions. Hence, the need for systematic and structured approach for development of innovative and effective farm machines suitable for Indian conditions are identified.

The R&D centre has envisaged plans to take up activities starting from concept development to prototype development stage involving all the stake holders in a systematic way. The small-scale industries seldom have R&D facilities and they depend upon public institutions for technological support. They require not only drawings but also prototypes and technical guidance to manufacture the equipment. The R&D activities envisaged by the centre result in new mechanization solutions suitable for small farmers, indigenous solutions to replace imported technology and gender specific design solutions. The developed farm mechanization solutions will be provided to small scale industries for commercialization in the form of prototypes and technical guidance to manufacture the equipment.

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Development of Heat Flux Sensor for Aero Gas Turbine Engine Combustors

This is an AR & DB – (GTMAP) funded project being investigated by Dr. M. Arulanantham, Dr. H. K. Narahari, Dr. S. Srikari, Dr. S. Malathi and Mr. Sitaram Gupta of Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The main aim of the project is to design, develop and calibrate polymer derived heat flux sensors with innate ability to sustain high temperature and highly oxidising environments that are typified by gas turbine combustors.

Turbine engines can be found in power generation, aerospace propulsion and automotives which are important to the functionality. The working condition of turbine engine system is very hostile with high temperatures, high pressures, and corrosive environments (oxidizing conditions, gaseous alkali, and water vapours). The new generation of gas turbine engine technology is increasingly utilizing advanced materials which are designed to handle the harsh environments inside these engines. The existing and advances in engine materials increase the need for developing new instrumentation, which can handle the harsher environment and monitor the operating conditions inside the engines to further improve their performance and reliability, reduce the pollution and improved turbine engine design.

Robust sensors are highly desired to measure and monitor the temperature, pressure, and heat flux in these harsh environments. However, fabrication of such sensors presents a huge technical challenge. Temperature control of a system requires the knowledge of rate of energy transfer between the system and the surroundings. While the measurement of temperature is common and well accepted, the measurement of heat flux is often given little consideration. In this project, heat flux sensor will be fabricated by vapour deposition techniques. This can be used to experimentally assess various flows and associated heat transfer of gas turbine combustors for facilitating the activities related to engine performance evaluation and engine health monitoring.

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Performance Enhancement of a Single Stage Transonic Axial Compressor through Reduction of Tip Leakage and Secondary Flow Losses

This is an AR & DB funded project investigated by Prof. Q. H. Nagpurwala, Mr. Subbaramu S. and Dr. Mahesh K. Varpe from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The main objective of the proposed research is to enhance the stability margin and performance of a transonic axial compressor stage by reducing the tip clearance and secondary flow losses.

Tip leakage flow and secondary flows are known to have considerable influence on the performance of axial compressors. The inception of stall, endwall blockage and total pressure loss are influenced by tip leakage and secondary flows. Some of the earlier works deal with the effect of tip leakage flow on the compressor performance. Similarly, studies are carried out on the effect of secondary flows on total pressure loss. However, limited attempts are made to simulate the interaction of tip leakage flow and passage secondary flow. Interaction of these non-core flows are presumed to have substantial influence on the performance and stability of transonic axial compressors. Both tip clearance losses and secondary flow losses are influenced by the aerodynamic and geometric cascade parameters of the blade rows like flow coefficient, rotor blade tip gap, blade aspect ratio, blade solidity and blade stagger angle.

Studies will be carried out on the interaction of tip leakage and secondary flows, and effect of these interactions on compressor performance. The results will be validated against available / published experimental and numerical data. Emphasis will be laid to understand the flow physics through the blade passages at different parametric conditions. The outcome of the research project will help in developing transonic compressor stages with improved stall margin and overall performance.

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Research & Development Centre for Hardened Steel Machining

This is a Karnataka Council for Technology Upgradation, Government of Karnataka funded project being investigated by Dr. R. Suresh, Dr. T. N. Srikantha Dath and Mr. K. N. Ganapathi from the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The project aims at developing safe, sustainable, economic and environmental friendly machining of hardened steels by identifying the optimum cutting parameters and cutting conditions. The centre intends to solve real time problems of the industry and also support MSMEs in their sustainability and growth.

Hard Materials, with HRC greater than 45, have found great demand in the manufacturing of automotive, aircraft and machine tool components as they offer unique combination of properties such as high wear resistance, high strength at elevated temperatures, high hardness, etc. Traditionally, these materials have been machined to finished geometries by abrasive processes such a grinding, ECM, EDM, Laser Cutting, etc., resulting not only in lower productivity but also environmental degradation due to usage of oil and oil-water based cutting fluids. Recent trends in hardened steel machining offers several advantages like elimination of finishing operations, decreased work-piece distortion, increased flexibility and reliability, and prevents environmental degradation by adopting Minimum Quality Lubrication (MQL) along with dry machining.

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Development of a Green Innovations Framework for Manufacturing Sector

This project is carried out by Dr. H. S. Srivatsa, Mr. Sandeep N., Mr. Vijaya Kumar S. and Mr. Arun R. in the area of Green Manufacturing. It is funded by National Science and Technology Management Information System (NSTMIS), a division of Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Green manufacturing is one of the new trends gaining prominence in the manufacturing sector. In addition, Green manufacturing reduces the extent of harm being caused to the environment by the Company. This helps a Company to become cost competitive leading to increase in its profitability as well as effective utilization of resources. However, going Green in manufacturing demands an innovative approach towards process improvement even though every sector has its own short-term and long-term challenges. In this research work, Companies from automotive and earthmover sectors are selected. Moreover, development of a sector specific framework and a road map for implementing Green manufacturing by understanding their challenges and opportunities will be demonstrated with special reference to SMEs. In summary, a phase-wise roadmap will be established for helping the Companies to implement, practice and sustain green innovations. Furthermore, the proposed framework can act as a guideline for practising green innovations.

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Design and Development of a Long Range Video Transmitter for Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) application

This is an AR & DB (SIGMA) funded project investigated by Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The aim of the project is to develop a hybrid video transmitter with a range of 5 km for Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) application.

MAVs are autonomous micro aircrafts with an overall size of up to 150 mm. Emphasis is being given for their development to use them for surveillance and reconnaissance in defence applications. A survey of fixed-wing and rotary-wing civilian MAVs reveals that for communication over a limited range and a high data rate, the range of Wi-Fi is limited to 70 and 300 m in an indoor and outdoor environment, respectively. The commercially available video transmitters have a range up to 2000 m but operational range of MAV is increasing and there is a demand for video transmitters with a longer range. At the same time, they must be light weight and consume very low power. This necessitates the need for development of low power, light weight longer range video transmitters. The challenges in its development are small power budget and high gain antenna development. Thus a performance evaluation of commercially available video transmitters at 900 MHz / 2.45 GHz will be conducted followed by interfacing an appropriate amplifier for performance improvement of the video transmitter. The range can be further improved by development of a high gain antenna and its integration with the video transmitter. Finally the hybrid video transmitter will be tested and evaluated for its performance.

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Development of Novel Zirconia Reinforced Mica Glass Ceramics for Dental Restorative Applications

Funded by Wellcome Trust DBT India as Research Training Fellowship Award for Clinicians. This project is being investigated by Dr. Sivaranjani Gali from Faculty of Dental Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Sreenivasa Murthy, Dean, Faculty of Dental Sciences and Prof. Bikramjit Basu from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

This project involves Development of Novel Zirconia Reinforced Mica Glass Ceramics for Dental Restorative Applications.

Dental ceramics are commonly used as a biomaterial for restoring esthetics and function of damaged teeth. Glass ceramics are well investigated for dental restorative applications. Mica glass ceramics are of particular interest due to their machinability and translucency but are known to have inferior mechanical properties. Having tested for their cellular functionality, antimicrobial properties and wear resistance, it is expected that novel zirconia additions to mica glass ceramic formulation will give desired combination of both physical properties, etching ability and esthetics.

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Development of Numerical Test-Bed to Analyse Compressor-Combustor Flow Interactions

This is an AR & DB funded project investigated by Dr. A. T. Sriram, Prof. Q. H. Nagpurwala and Mr. S. Subbaramu from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The aim of the project is to identify suitable CFD models for complex flow configuration, validate individual components and develop numerical test-bed to analyse compressor-combustor flow interaction.

In gas turbine engines, the core flow passes from air intake to nozzle exit via multistage compressor, combustor and multistage turbine. The flow in the blade passage is relative simple and time averaged mean flow is of particular design interest. However, the flow-thermo-chemistry process in the combustor is complex and needs good numerical models as well as fine computational grids to capture the flow physics. Therefore, different numerical approaches at different components are proposed and also to be integrated to form numerical test-bed. Simulations are to be performed for compressor and combustor separately as well as in the coupled configuration to identify interactions.

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Development of Salbutamol Sulphate Embedded Transmucosal Nasal Inserts

This is a SPiCE funded project under VGST, Govt. of Karnataka being investigated by Dr. S. Bharath and Mr. Arjun Jadav S from the Faculty of Pharmacy.

The project involves development of mucoadhesive nasal inserts embedded with an anti-asthmatic drug salbutamol sulphate for administration in the nasal region to achieve longer nasal residence time and thus increase bioavailability.

Majority of conventional oral dosage forms available are associated with the low bioavailability problems due to short half-life, extensive first pass metabolism and poor stability in the gastro-intestinal tract. Nasal drug delivery is a promising alternative for oral and also intravenous routes of drug administration for systemic circulation to have immediate or delayed drug action. Salbutamol sulphate is a short acting β2 receptor agonist, used in the treatment of asthma and COPD with an oral biological half life of 1.5 hours. which will increase the dosing frequency and decrease patient compliance. Mucoadhesive polymer is synthesized to increase the mucoadhesivity of the dosage form and increase nasal residence time. The synthesized polymer is identified and confirmed by different analysis like SEM, XRD, DSC, TGA and Mass spectroscopy. Nasal inserts of salbutamol sulphate are formulated using blend of polymers in different ratios by molding method using lyophilization technique and characterized. The optimized formulation showed a sustained drug flux with Peppas as the best fit model for drug release kinetics.

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Development of Vision Based Auto Pilot System for Indoor Navigation of MAV

is a AR & DB funded project investigated by Prof. S.R. Shankapal, Prof. Govind R. Kadambi, Mr. B. Nagaraja and Mr. K.R. Prashanth from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The research project is aimed to develop a vision based autonomous guidance of Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) in confined indoor environments.

In recent times, there has been considerable interest in the development of MAV for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes. Payload is the main constraint in the design of an MAV since autonomous navigation requires many types of sensors adding to its weight. Use of cameras as sensors finds utility in multiple applications like video surveillance, obstacle avoidance and collision avoidance. Navigation of MAV in a GPS denied scenarios such as indoor or closed tunnel environment is a greater challenge. Vision based techniques are emerging as an apt alternative for surveillance and collision avoidance applications devoid of GPS. Autopilot is a critical sub system of MAV performing autonomous landing, take off, navigation, ascent, descent, trajectory following. The research of this project involves the development of an Optic Flow based autopilot for autonomous tunnel navigation of MAV.

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Development of Nano Rods for Efficient Solar Cells

is a DST funded project currently being investigated by Prof. S.R. Shankapal, Dr. S. Srikari, Mr. N. Sandeep and Ms. Nireeksha S. Karode from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The project involves development of MoS2 Nano rods for hybrid solar cell application. MoS2 Nano rods provide both absorption and separation, thus leading to a higher efficiency. Studies have shown that the band gap increases with decrease in thickness of MoS2. The absorption spectrum of MoS2 can be modulated by controlling the dimensions and orientation of Nano rods and annealing process. Therefore this research project will lead to development of more efficient hybrid solar cells with MoS2 Nano rods which have preferred dimensions and orientation on substrates using chemical route.

The investigation of this project embodies research on Nano materials and solar cells. Invention of Nano materials in the form of Nano particles, Nano rods and Nano ribbons has revolutionised different domains such as automotive, electronics, energy, and medical. In the energy sector, use of photovoltaic cells or popularly known as solar cells play an important role for conservation of energy. Compared to conventional solar cells, hybrid solar cells are found to give advantages in terms of cost, manufacturing process, durability and flexibility, but with lower efficiency (around 8-10%). A layer of Nano rods in hybrid solar cells provides a huge interface for better charge separation and charge transfer along with reduction in reflection, resulting in enhanced efficiency of hybrid solar cells.

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Development Studies on Penetration Resistance of Armour Structure

This project is investigated by Dr. B.V. Vijay, Dr. S. Srikari and Mr. V. Nithin from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. This research is aimed at exploratory studies on an Armour structure (hull and turret) for passive nullification of the ballistic energy of anti- tank missiles. The project is challenging on account of the solution needing multiple considerations from the perspectives of structural materials, mechanics, and optimisation.

Traditionally, construction of an Armour tank warrants high- strength steel associated with stiffening features to achieve basic ‘global’ design needs such as modal, distortion, and buckling characteristics. Penetration resistance on the other hand, being a ‘local’ design driver, requires quite a different solution concept. Current research on ballistic impact resistance largely focuses on material - centric issues such as behaviour under high loading rates, failure processes in composite laminated and woven forms. This project proposes research into highly - dispersive and dissipative heterogeneous structure for achieving the requisite absorption needs of ballistic energy.

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