Raman Research Institute & ISRO to study the early Universe

Image courtesy of Raman Research Institute.

The Raman Research Institute (RRI) and ISRO Space Applications Center (SAC) have signed an MoU to work together to further the understanding of the evolution of Universe by looking for “wiggles” in the first light from the very first stars born in the Universe, according to a press release by RRI.

The two institutions will partner to design and develop extremely sensitive radio receivers to detect this light, deploy them in locations free from man-made radio interference, ranging from remote sites on ground all the way to space in lunar orbit. These radiometers will be custom designed to detect signals from the formation of first atoms (Epoch of Recombination) to the formation of first stars (Cosmic Dawn and Epoch of Reionization).

The collaboration also aims to design and develop astronomical observatories to look directly at the birth places of stars in our local Universe by studying radiation from molecules. From studying the formation of planetary systems, to molecules that are essential to life, these observatories have “exciting science goals”.

RRI will focus on the science, proof of concept, ground based observing systems, and SAC will apply its expertise towards the space qualification of the experiments for deployment in high-altitude and space, away from the clutter of terrestrial radio frequency interference. 

The Raman Research Institute is an autonomous research institute engaged in research in basic sciences. It was founded in 1948 by the Indian physicist and Nobel Laureate, Sir C V Raman, to continue his studies and basic research after he retired from the Indian Institute of Science. It was funded personally by him and with donations from private sources. In 1972, the RRI was restructured to become an aided autonomous research institute receiving funds from the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India.

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