Astronomy & Astrophysics Division Labs

50 cm observatory at MIRO
The main science goals of this observatory are to observe objects which exhibit variability on various time scales. These include short time scale variables such as delta Scuti stars on the one hand to blazars which are active galactic nuclei exhibiting variability at time scales ranging from years to months, days and hours. This telescope has also been used for the observation of transient objects. <br> <a href="">Further details can be found here</a>

 The 50 cm telescope is one of the several telescopes operated by PRL at its Mount Abu Infrared Observatory
(MIRO). It was installed in 2010. The
telescope is a Planewave Instruments’ CDK20 model mounted on a Mathis
Instruments equatorial mount. It has an EMCCD based imager with 3
position polarisation capability. Total field of view of the setup is 13.3 x 13.3

Another instrument available for use on this telescope is a compact spectrograph
called LISA with a spectral resolving power of ~1000.
This has been used quite extensively for the observation of a large sample of

The telescope has already provided work for many B.Tech and M.Tech projects.
Several PhD students have also been involved in the use of the telescope at
various stages of their thesis and used the data taken from this telescope.

NISP Laboratory
Near-infrared Imaging Spectrometer and Polarimeter (NISP) is one of the upcoming instruments to be used with PRL’s 2.5 m telescope at the Mount Abu Infrared Observatory (MIRO). This clean room of class 10,000 with proper temperature stability, created for NISP development purposes, is outfitted with Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) workstation, cupboards and chairs. Since NISP electronics and application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) are susceptible to ESD, the clean room has epoxy flooring with copper mesh earthing for dissipating the charge properly. It also has an optical table (2000 mm X 1200 mm X 200 mm) to provide a rigid and vibration-free environment for optical and opto-mechanical alignments and tests.

This laboratory is constructed for
developing various subsystems of NISP
and to carry out vacuum and
mechanical tests. It is a customized
laboratory having an airlock partition to
make it dust-free and ESD safe

MFOSC Optical System Laboratory
MFOSC optical system laboratory is set up with the aim to develop the backend instrumentation for existing PRL 1.2m and upcoming 2.5m telescopes at Mt. Abu. As the telescopes are optimized for the visible and near-infrared wavelengths of the spectrum, the laboratory would thus focus on the development of both optical and near-infrared aspects of astronomical instrumentation.

MFOSC optical system laboratory is located in PRL’s Thaltej campus. It has
the facility to build, integrate, test and characterize optical
instruments for astronomical applications. The laboratory is equipped with
a variety of tools, cameras, light sources and other accessories necessary
for the design and development of optical astronomical instrumentation.

The laboratory staff members are currently involved in the development of
next-generation instrumentation for PRL 1.2m and 2.5m telescopes. Aspects
of spectro-polarimetry are being investigated, and a program on adaptive
optics system development is initiated with the aim to develop
adaptive-optics assisted near-infrared instrumentation on PRL telescopes.

The laboratory members have expertise in optical design, opto-mechanical
system design, electronics and instrumentation controls and related
software development. The members are involved in the design, modelling,
analysis & simulations, fabrication, assembly-integration-testing (AIT)
and on-sky characterization of the instruments.

The laboratory is equipped with a damped optical table with pneumatic
isolators for vibration controls and is installed inside a soft-wall clean
chamber with an air filter unit for clean air circulation. The set-up is
being used for the assembly-integration-testing (AIT) of various
instruments and short-term optics experiments

The laboratory successfully delivered its first fully in-house developed
instrument named MFOSC-P (Mt. Abu Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera –
Pathfinder) in early 2019, which has been regularly used on the PRL 1.2m
telescope since then. It is an imager-spectrograph that works in the
visible wavelength range. It provides the capabilities of filter-imaging
in B-V-R-I and H-alpha bands as well as low-resolution spectroscopy
(R~500-2000). Being used as a facility instrument since 2019, MFOSC-P has
been used to study a variety of astronomical objects and generated several
international research papers and conference proceeding.