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Galaxies are the building blocks of the universe. They form the beads of cosmic jewelry that define structure on the largest scales. However, the formation and evolution process of these galaxies is one of the open areas in astrophysics with many unsolved questions. We try to answer some of these fundamental questions using observations of nearby galaxies.

Neutral Hydrogen map of Holmberg II, NGC 628, NGC 6946, and DDO 154
Data: The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey (Walter et. al. (2008))


Our group at DAASE is working on resolving a few critical issues related to the galaxy formation and evolution process. Our primarily focus is concentrated on broadly two research areas. The first part focuses on the dark matter distribution in galaxies and tries to address the shortcomings of the Lambda-CDM model of cosmology. The second part focuses on gas and star formation and tries to understand how galaxies effectively use their gas reservoir to form stars and from where this gas comes.

Our group is also actively involved in cutting-edge instrumentation for new-generation radio telescopes. In our Digital Backend Group, we focus on developing state-of-the-art digital backends (e.g., receiver, beamformer, etc.) for radio telescopes using advanced computing platforms like FPGA and GPUS. The long-term ambition of this group is to support our own four-element interferometer (IIRI, IIT Indore Radio Interferometer) and develop indigenous technologies for next-generation instruments. Currently, we are working on developing a digital beam former for radio astronomy applications using FPGA.
Dark matter and the Lmbda-CDM

Despite immense success on large scales, the Lambda-CDM model of cosmology suffers several critical shortcomings on small galactic scales, e.g., the 'core-cusp' problem, the 'too big to fail' problem, the 'missing-satellite' problem, etc. All of these problems violate the predicted dark matter distributions in and around galaxies from a few kiloparsecs to a few hundred kiloparsecs. Our group is looking into some of these critical issues using observations of nearby galaxies. For example, we are addressing the long-standing missing satellite problem by analyzing observations of Compact High-Velocity Clouds. We are examining the dark matter distribution in dark matter deficient galaxies. The dark matter deficient galaxies are leading the front to challenge the Lambda-CDM. By inspectic the vertical structure of galactic disks, we are invesigating the non-sphericity of dark matter halos in galaxies. All these are open problems of astrophysics and directly challenge the working paradigm of modern cosmology.
Leo-T, a MW satellite galaxy, previously thought to be a CHVC
SDSS composit image of AGC 6438, a dark matter deficient galaxy
Vertical density profiles for different non-spherical dark matter halos in UGC 4148
Galaxy formation and evolution

In connection to galaxy formation and evolution, two significant issues persist to date despite several significant efforts. First, how do the galaxies acquire sufficient gas to sustain their prolonged star formation? Second, how the star formation physics, which acts at a microscopic scale, leads to global scaling relations at much larger scales in galaxies. We are addressing these pressing questions using extensive observations of nearby galaxies and sophisticated numerical modeling. In this regard, atomic Hydrogen (HI), in particular, serves as an excellent tracer of the physical activities and dynamics in galaxies. We perform deep HI/optical/UV observations of a large number of galaxies using different telescopes to trace the connection between gas and star formation in galaxies. Further, we have started a large campaign using the GMRT to detect AGNs in dwarf galaxies. These observations will unravel how feedback processes regulate the galaxy evolution process.
Signature of extra-planar atomic gas in NGC 1003
Regions of multi-component KS-law in NGC 6946
A rare atomic bar in the dwarf galaxy DDO 168
Instrumentation and Software Development

We are also involved in developing digital backends for radio telescopes. Specifically, we make use of cutting-edge platforms, e.g., FPGA and GPUs, to build digital receivers for radio telescopes. We are currently developing an FPGA-based beamformer for radio astronomy applications.

We also focus on developing software for radio data processing and image processing. One of the prominent agendas of our lab is to develop an automated pipeline for analyzing radio data from the uGMRT. We are implementing Machine Learning based techniques to process the visibility data from the uGMRT. We implement all the algorithms on a GPU-based parallel environment to handle the large volume of data coming from the present and next-generation telescopes.
Implementation of a beamformer in an FPGA platform (Redpitaya).
Electromagnetic radiation transmitter and receiver set up.

Dark matter and the Lmbda-CDM

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Galaxy formation and evolution

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Dr. Narendra Nath Patra

Principal Investigator

Dr. Narendra Nath Patra obtained his Ph.D. from the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, under the guidance of Prof. Jayaram N. Chengalur. He did his first postdoc from NCRA-TIFR itself, where he worked on the proposed expansion of the Giant Meter-wave Radio Telescope (E-GMRT) and designed its antenna configuration. He then moved to the Raman Research Institute as a Pancharatnam Fellow in 2018. He joined the Department of Astronomy Astrophysics and Space Engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology in 2021 and established a Galaxy Research Group to investigate the process of galaxy formation and evolution. He also established the Digital Backend Lab at DAASE, which focuses on building digital receivers for radio telescopes. He is actively working on commissioning the four-element interferometer (IIRI) at IIT Indore.

Alvera Farooqui
M.Sc. (Astronomy and Astrophysics)

Dynamics of gaseous clouds in galactic disks

M.Sc. (Astronomy and Astrophysics)

Dark matter distribution in Dark matter deficient galaxies

Ankit Bhanu
M.Tech. (Space Engineering)

Developing a digital beam former for radio astronomy applications

Harshal Raut
MS Research (Astronomy and Astrophysics)

Non-spherical dark matter halos in galaxies


There are a number of Ph.D. positions available in our Lab. Applications are invited from highly motivated students interested in carrying out cutting-edge research problems. You may apply through the IIT Indore application portal. Please follow this link for more details.

MSc and MTech students of IIT Indore are also welcome to work on their thesis at the Lab.

BTech students of IITI are also encouraged to drop by the Lab in case you are interested in doing some projects. Please do not write to me asking for an online project. Currently, all the projects are offered in offline mode only.

A JRF position is available in the Lab in a SERB funded project. Please see this link for more details. Last date of application is 15 Feb 2023.



Office Number: PoD 1D-505
Department of Astronomy Astrophysics and Space Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Indore
Khandwa Road, Simrol
Indore - 453552

Office: (+91) (731) 6603385