Research and Development Activities (R & D)

In addition to calibration, testing and analysis work, STIC carries out research and development work in different areas of instrumentation. STIC is particularly interested in instrumentation development that are relevant to industry. STIC carries out research and development work in the following areas at present.

Measurement science
Biomedical instrumentation
Signal processing
Photothermal/photoacoustic phenomena
Material analysis

STIC believes that R&D activities in instrumentation should form an integral part of the institution, and are necessary for the overall growth of the institution.

Some of the significant works done by STIC in the recent past are outlined below.

Measurement of Dry Rubber Content in latex.
STIC, in collaboration with Rubber Research Institute of India, has developed a method to measure Dry rubber content (DRC) in rubber latex, by measuring the capacitance of a capacitor with latex as the dielectric. Very promising results have been obtained, which is under publication/patenting. Another method that employs a differential measurement is currently under development.

Development of plantar foot pressure measurement unit.
STIC has developed a Plantar Foot Pressure measurement unit indigenously for the first time in the country. It is a fully computerized instrument, which enables a physician to carefully monitor the non-uniformity in the pressure distribution at the soles of the feet of a patient, as he stands upright. By simply looking at the computer screen, a physician can easily judge the regions where the patient applies excess pressure, where chances for development ulceration are high, and suggest remedial actions. Monitoring foot pressure distribution is very important for diabetic patients who are prone to amputation if proper care is not taken in advance. Physicians recommend a foot scan for diabetic patients every month.

The technology of the developed system has been transferred to M/s. Dynamic Techno Medicals, Aluva, who is in the process of manufacturing the unit on a commercial scale. The unit developed at STIC has undergone rigorous test at the Podiatric centres of M/s. Dynamic Techno Medicals for several months. It has been working very well.

The above unit is a static one. STIC has recently developed a Dynamic Plantar Foot pressure measurement unit, which measures and displays the pressure distribution when the patient walks. It uses more or less the same technology as the static one, but data acquisition and transfer take place in the dynamic mode. The difficulties encountered in having a bunch of wires connected between the sensor array and the data acquisition module are overcome by STIC by making the whole unit wireless. Optimization of the wireless unit is going on.

Speech signal processing
STIC has been involved in the application of signal processing techniques to speech recognition and processing. We have been trying to apply Artificial Neural Networks to solve problems in this area. Work is progressing well in solving practical, but complex, problems.

Photothermal/ photoacoutic phenomena
STIC has been working on the application of photothermal technique to study thermal and optical properties of different application oriented materials. STIC has also developed a scanning photothermal set up which can be used as a photoacoustic microscope. Good progress is being made in this area of work.

STIC has developed a photothermal/photoacoustic scanning technique to measure the thermal properties such as thermal diffusivity, effusivity, conductivity and heat capacity of thick films with thickness in the range of a few micrometers. Recently we applied the technique to measure these parameters for selected commercial paints. The results of this work can lead to define quality parameters for commercial paints.

STIC is now working on the development of a photothermal interferometer, which is likely to find applications in diverse fields.

Another area of work currently going on at STIC is the development of optical chaotic communication coding scheme for the safe transmission of signals

Material analysis
Over and above the material analysis work done by the staff of STIC for others in the SAIF laboratory, we have also been doing material analysis for our own research. We have been able to get some new results, which are published.