Adventure to Madventure - An interview with Dr. Stanley E. Whitecomb

"Adventure to Madventure"

Dr. Stanley E. Whitecomb
Chief Scientist, Laster Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory Laboratory


Dr. Stanley E. Whitcomb is currently the Chief Scientist of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory. The LIGO Lab is operated by Caltech and MIT through funding from the National Science Foundation.He is one of the advisory committee member for INDIGO.

Fig: Stanley E.Whitcomb

I have met Stan during my  QIP school on “Optics of Gravitational Wave Detectors” organized by Centre for lasers and Photonics, IIT Kanpur.After that I used to mail him to clear my queries and this contact enabled me to interview him for this article.

Mr Raja VLN Sridhar, Scientist, Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems, Bangalore

"Space technology in the service of Human kind"

Mr Raja VLN Sridhar, Scientist,
Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems, Bangalore

 The ISS team member, Ms. Manasa Perikala, had an opportunity to interact with Mr Raja VLN Sridhar, Scientist from laboratory for elector-optics systems, Bangalore. In this interviews, he gives a detailed information about his contribution in Chandrayaan-1, Mangalyaan and in the upcoming Chandrayaan-2 mission. In addition, he also talks about the work culture in ISRO and the opportunities available to the students.

Please visit the rest of the section to read the detailed interview.

Q1. Could you please introduce yourself to our audience?
Hello to all…! First of all thank you very much for the warm wishes, indeed this spectacular success of MOM is attributed to all Indians, who had kept faith on us (ISRO Scientists/Engineers) and have been always with us during ups and downs. Genuinely, such an awesome support motivates us to dream and realize this kind of ambitious and challenging goals along with the prime focus on ‘Space technology in the service of Human kind’. Coming to myself, I am an engineer/scientist working in Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems (LEOS) in Bangalore, one of the vital units of ISRO responsible for development of attitude and navigation sensors (crucial for Satellite navigation), telescopes for Remote-Sensing Satellites and elector-optical Scientific Instruments [like LLRI/Chandrayann-1, LAP/MOM, LIBS/Chandrayaan-2 (to be flown)]. I have joined ISRO in 2006 and since then been involved in development of planetary science instruments.   

In Conversation with Dr. Mayank Vahia

Dr. Mayank Vahia
Scientist, TATA Institute of Fundamental Research

" To know where we are going, we have to know where we came from "

It is our pleasure to introduce Dr. Mayank Vahia to our audience. Our correspondent, Mr Aditya Togi, got an opportunity to interact with him recently. He is a senior scientist at TIFR who had held many important positions during his career. ISS team might need another dedicated interview just to write about his complete research work. Here is a short-description from his own words.

 " My main fields of interest are high-energy astrophysics, mainly Cosmic Rays, X-rays and Gamma Rays.

I have been studying them by experiments as well as by modeling. I have participated in experiments such as Anuradha that was flown on the Space Shuttle in 1985 and Indian X-ray Astronomy Payload that was flown on an Indian Satellite in 1996. I have also participated in the Solar X-ray Spectroscopy Experiment that was launched on India's GSAT 2 satellite in 2003. I am now involved with the ASTROSAT, India's most ambitious multi wavelength astronomy satellite.

 My latest field of curiosity is the the field of Archaeoastronomy.

Science Popularisation is my hobby and I like creating programmes as well as giving lectures to students on issues of astronomy as well as science and society."


Q1.Could you please give us some background about your research focus in recent time?
My current research is in the field of archaeo astronomy – a study of evolution of astronomy from the prehistoric to modern period.

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