“Smaller Companies Should Get to Work on Major Projects to Improve Industry Scenario”

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Q.What is the story of your startup and your vision?

Our company was started in 2010 with an aim to address highly specialised signal processing requirements. I and my colleague, professor Arun Kumar along with another friend, Sandeep Kumar, an alumni of IIT Kanpur, set up the company to offer designing of custom algorithms and provide complete solutions for realization of real-time signal processing system. We provide signal processing solutions for RADAR, SONAR, speech quality improvement, passive surveillance system, etc. Our main domain is the underwater threat detection system.

Currently, we are working on a project in this domain which is for protection of the Ganges dolphins. We are creating an underwater dolphin presence map so that when the Ganges becomes the new national waterway, it will not adversely affect the dolphins in it. Ganges dolphins are blind. They use bio-SONAR for navigation and our system is based on detection of these bio-SONAR clicks. We have a passive system that will just listen to these clicks and thereby, a map can be obtained where we can see dolphins as a cluster of points as they move around. Anyone with a smartphone will be able to view that map with an android application.

The solutions we provide include system design, software and hardware prototyping and system realization on DSP and/or FPGA based hardware platforms for real-time functionalities. We offer manpower training on ‘advanced signal processing tools’ to be implemented real-time along with training on ‘statistical signal processing’, ‘underwater communications’ and more.

Providing manpower training on advanced signal processing tools for real-time implementation, statistical signal processing, underwater communications and more also come under our company’s scope.

Q.How do you think your company is contributing towards the advancement in Electronics?

This is a very niche area and not many people are working on it. In fact, I am not aware of any private company providing these solutions. In government too, the DRDO has developed technology for underwater passive systems but it is not in the state-of-art right now. We are providing algorithms which will make the systems more suitable for underwater detection.

Apart from that, we have developed specialized proprietary know-how/intellectual property and are offering high-end specialized services in Combat Management Systems, Multi-platform Multi-sensor Data Fusion Engines, Data Science and Decision Support Systems, Passive Surveillance Systems for mines, SONAR Imaging, etc. We are working on a system which would be able to differentiate Indian submarines and ships from enemy submarines using SONAR.

Q What are the areas where Signal Processing has its application?

Signal processing is very vast. Wherever there are signals, there can be signal processing. Nowadays, even in cell phones, we have all kind of sensors. We have pressure sensors, microphones, gyroscopes, accelerometers, magnetometers to listen to the environment and be aware of the same. Signal processing has a lot to do in extracting information from these sensors. Signal processing is also used in building virtual reality applications. We can electronically null out the environmental disturbances in microphones using signal processing. It is also used in hearing aid devices to compensate the hearing loss for those who can not listen to the sound of particular frequencies.

Q.How do you manage to work for your startup along with your full-time job?

Here in IIT Delhi, we have a criterion under which we can dedicate one day in a week to our consulting projects but not at the cost of our academic responsibility. Thus, we get one day and our weekends to work for the technical aspect of our company while for business aspect, our director, Sandeep Kumar is responsible.

Q.Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

Yes, I would like to convey that we, academicians, should also contribute to nation’s progress directly through our projects that can work in real life situation. We all contribute indirectly by training our students and through our researches but apart from these, we should directly take part in some projects for social good.

For IITs, it is not a great concern. However, for professors from other universities, especially the private ones, they have too many academic responsibilities along with the pressure to publish papers in journals. Hence, they hardly get much time for field related research. Institutes should promote this culture in which academicians and students both can work on projects that will solve some real-life problems. Teachers too should try and give practical knowledge to students so that they can design devices for the real world and not just for labs.