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Domain Themes

Life Sciences | Materials | Electronics and Communication Systems | Combat Engineering Systems

Domain Team

Domain Coordinators
Prof. V. Kamakoti, IIT Madras
Prof. Naresh Bhatnagar, IIT Delhi

IIT Hyderabad: Amit Acharyya
IIT Madras: A S Ramakrishnan, Balaji Srinivasan, Bijoy Krishna Das, Saumendra Kumar Bajpai, Sathyan Subbiah, Tarun K. Chandrayadula, K. Srinivasan, Somnath Chanda Roy, Sudakar Chandran
IIT Roorkee: Narayan Chandra Mishra
IIT Ropar: Kailash Chandra Jena

Members: IIT Bhubaneswar: Saroj Nayak, Rajan Jha
IIT Delhi: N. Bhatnagar, Amartya Sengupta, Rajendra Singh, Abhijit Majumdar
IIT Hyderabad: Ch. Subrahmanyam
IIT Kanpur: M J Akhtar
IIT Kharagpur: S B Majumder
IIT Madras: Shaikh Faruque Ali, Jagadeesh Kumar V, V. Srinivas, Arockiarajan, G Ranga Rao, Palaniappan Ramu, Sampath V, Krishnan Balasubramanian, Tiju Thomas, Uday Chakkingal, Somashekhar S. Hiremath, Mahesh Panchagnula, Gandham Phanikumar, Sankararaman S
IIT Ropar: Dhiraj K Mahajan, Prabhat K Agnihotri

IIT Bhubaneswar: M. Satpathy, Neti V L Narasimha Murty, M. Sabarimalai Manikandan, Pravas Ranjan Sahu
IIT Guwahati: Sougata Karmakar, Praveen Kumar
IIT Hyderabad: Sathya Peri, Kiran Kuchi, Nishanth Dongari
IIT Kanpur: Yatindra Nath Singh, K. Vasudevan
IIT Kharagpur: Debdeep Mukhopadyaya, Rajat Shubra Chakraborty
IIT Madras: Andrew Thangaraj, Chester Rebeiro, Radha Krishna Ganti, Devendra Jalihal, Harishankar Ramachandran, Deepak Khemani, Arun K. Tangirala, V. Kamakoti
IIT Roorkee: Sudip Roy, Brajesh Kumar Kaushik
IIT Ropar: Rohit Y Sharma

IIT Delhi: J Madaan, Tanusree Chakraborty, Suddhasatwa Basu, Subrat Kar
IIT Guwahati: Gaurav Trivedi
IIT Indore Gaurinath Banda
IIT Kanpur: A. K. Ghosh
IIT Kharagpur: Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay, Sudarsan Neogi
IIT Madras: Kavitha Arunachalam, Asokan T, Nandan Kumar Sinha, GL Samuel, Murali Krishnan, Sayan Gupta, Benny Raphael, P A Ramakrishna, Abdus Samad, S Surendran, Shyama Prasad Das, C.V.Krishnamurthy, Abhijit Sarkar, Chandramouli P, Ravindra Gettu
IIT Roorkee: Pushparaj Mani Pathak
IIT Ropar: Ekta Singla, Navin Kumar, Srikanth Sekhar Padhee, Chakradhar Reddy Chandupatla

Domain: Security & Defence

Broad Coverage

Protecting national resources including humans from invasion of any form is crucial to any country and is carried out by its Defence. Role of Science and Technology in building a nation's defence infrastructure is the key. In future, attacks may be more Technical, Information based and Accurate. It may neither involve human beings nor arms and ammunitions (for eg., a Cyber attack). The technological requirements to fight the “Modern War” necessitates a large multi-disciplinary Research and Development framework spread across the Academia and Industry that envisages, formulates and solves the challenges to “fight” the “Modern war” as well as terrorism. The IMPRINT India initiative will attempt to develop a blueprint of this framework including education policies aimed to generate skilled manpower needed to work on the challenges posed. Defence requirements can be broadly classified into four themes, namely, Life Sciences; Materials; Electronics and Communication Systems; and Combat Engineering Systems. Grand Challenges in each of these themes are presented below.

Life Sciences

The soldier is as important as the weapon. Ensuring the well being of a soldier is paramount to enable best performance at wartime, which continues to be a challenge that needs to be addressed

Health Care: Welfare of the soldier on the battlefield is of prime importance. The challenges are to protect them from different forms of attacks; devise effective ways for reaching medical assistance to the site; and, medical treatment procedures for quick healing of the injury. Continuous monitoring of health parameters of a soldier in action is also of prime importance. Specific challenges in this area are as listed below.

  • Portable Health Care for quick and accurate diagnosys and First-Aid

  • Development of “Regenerative Medicine” for “Rapid Wound Healing”, “Rapid Bone-Reconstruction", Injectable scaffolds for bone loss and repair.

  • Defence health care instrumentation monitoring and expert systems using big Data analytics

  • Wearable medical devices for army personnel health monitoring

  • Dermal-protection for on-field soldiers

Nuclear Biological Chemical Defence: One of the toughest challenges today is to develop capabilities to protect soldiers and common people from the consequences of Nuclear, Biological or Chemical attacks. The toughness is primarily due to the fact that these attacks may not be as explicit as a conventional attack like a gunfight and can take place silently. These attacks can cause much widespread damage than the conventional ones. Specific challenges in this area are as listed below.

  • Contamination Avoidance, Protection and Decontamination

  • Water and food purification systems

  • NBC Protective clothing

  • Large portable protective tents

  • Medical Management of Biological and Chemically Contaminated Casualties

  • Hazard estimation

  • Radiological Monitor/Survey

  • Radiological Hazard Prediction

  • NBC Defence Training through simulations and wargames


Materials that aid in development of effective defence technologies are the most vital. The effectiveness is measured in terms of enhanced safety that it provides to systems and personnel.

Smart Materials: Intelligence need to be built at every level to win a war and that includes the materials used to build defence weapons and systems. The challenge is to understand and model the environment in a battlefield and study the behavior of materials under such environments. Specific challenges in this area are as listed below.

  • Design & development of Bullet proof and Blast proof light weight material systems

  • Design & development of high frequency/high temperature semiconductor devices & circuits for harsh environments

  • Soft magnetic materials for high frequency applications, magnetic markers

  • Fabrication of high energy and high power density hybrid supercapacitor

  • Explosive Detection, Chemical screening, Super-hard materials, GaN and Ga2O3 material growth and device fabrication, 2D materials and devices

  • Development of rejoinable polymeric materials with high healing efficiency

  • Development of surface coatings for better corrosion resistance properties under aggressive environment

  • Fatigue studies of advanced composite materials for structural application in aircrafts

  • Organic molecular electronic materials

  • Development of Functional Materials and Light Weight Composites for Stealth Applications in RF, Microwave and THz Frequency Range

  • Micro Fuel Cell in MEMS used in Missile systems

  • Composites with improved electrical conduction, Stealth composites, sandwich structures

Sensors: In the age of informed wars wherein, monitoring of the battlefield need to be done remotely based on different real-time parameters inside the battlefield and guidance provided from a central control center, the challenge is to build weight, size and power optimized sensors that can accurately sense these in-field parameters. Specific challenges in this area are as listed below.

  • Development of RF Sensors, Thin film/Nano sensors, Magnetic Sensors, Self-powered sensors, wearable sensors/textile based technologies for army men

  • Sensors for improvised explosive device detection, organic sensors for explosive device detection, Handheld gas sensing system to selectively detect toxic gases.

  • Morphing structures, energy generation from vibrations to power up small electronics/sensors

Electronics and Communication Systems

All modern defence systems are electro-mechanical as supposed to mostly mechanical systems of the past. Electronics, computing and communication systems form an integral part of the backbone of any defence system. Every system comprises a combination of one or more of the following, namely, hardware, system software and application software.

Hardware Design: Effective Hardware design is crucial for building any system. The effectiveness is measured in terms of reliability, weight, performance and power consumption. In addition, in any compute or communication systems the hardware is the Root of Trust. This necessitates formal verification of the hardware units. The formal verification process, in turn, requires complete details of all the hardware components driving the need for total indigenous development. Specific challenges in this area are as listed below.

  • Building modern digital communication modems and network

    • Homeland Security Networks, Broadband Tactical Communication System

    • DTN based messaging Systems and P2P based collaboration Systems

    • Secure Routers and Switches

    • Communication with long range missiles for direction control and target accuracy

  • Formally verified secure systems

    • Framework for guaranteeing end-to-end security, Trojan detection tools and mechanisms

    • Indigenous Microprocessors with High Assurance Boot and Tamper Detect

  • Real-time Embedded Signal Processing Systems for RADAR and SONAR applications

  • RF, Microwave and Millimeter & Thz Wave Imaging Techniques for Security


  • Real-time Embedded Signal Processing Systems

    • VLSI Architectures for long range Imaging Systems

  • Indigenous renewable energy devices

  • High performance computing cluster of many-core processing systems

    • Computationally intensive problem solving

System Software: In the design of any compute or communication system the entire stack ranging from hardware, system software to applications need to be secure. The system software, namely, compilers and operating systems are complex and difficult to analyze from a security viewpoint. In addition, these layers provide the necessary high-performance libraries for development of application software. Specific challenges in this area are as listed below.

  • Object code modelling and software verification

  • Toolkits for parallel and concurrent programming

Application Software: Software to model environments that are highly multidisciplinary in nature is crucial for defence related design and development. Specific needs are listed below.

  • Deep-learning based anomaly detection in dense populated areas

  • GPS development, Video Analytics for Surveillance, Compressive Sensing and Imaging

  • Virtual Reality for Terrain Exploration, Flight simulation, theater war games

  • Artificial Intelligence based applications

    • Planning, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

Combat Engineering Systems

Combat systems form the front-end of military operations. They need to handle multi-sensor data fusion leading to higher situational awareness with partially or fully autonomous decision-making capabilities. Engineering state-of-the-art combat systems that ensures sophisticated fighting capabilities, mobility and protection is crucial for winning wars. These include the following:

Aircrafts and Submarines:

  • National Airspace Systems

  • Indigenous Designs

    • Fighter Aircrafts, Flight controller for surveillance quadcopters, Submarines, Micro-aero vehicles and backpack rockets for mobility of soldiers in mountainous areas.

    • Fuel-cell Powered Submarines

Battle Tanks:

  • Automated target recognition

  • Battlefield surveillance, guidance and control of vehicles

Autonomous Systems:

  • Terrain exploration and surveillance UAVs of 2000Kg class, high speed, long range and long flight duration

  • Autonomous Soldier bot, Command and Control Infrastructure, Collision detection and avoidance.

  • Autonomous Systems Certification and Techniques to validate correctness of robotic systems

Armaments and Engineering Support Systems:

  • Stealth paints, long lasting mini batteries, Blast resistant vehicles, shields and structures

  • Fabrication of RFID, LIDAR, Infra-Red optics, Plastic Electronics and Silicon Photonics

  • New age engines with solid fuels for gas turbines

  • Non destructive testing and assessment techniques

  • Hybrid air-water ballistic missile development, underwater acoustic instruments

Smart weapons, Rail gun, Ground Effect Vehicles (Ekranoplane), Super Cavitating Torpedo

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