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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Indian Army OT-62 TOPAS Armoured Troop Carrier [Photographs]

On the way back from the airport the other day, was pleasantly surprised to see the troop carrier having received a fresh coat of paint. Had promised myself to click a few photographs. Since it is located at  busy traffic signal near a school, standing in the middle of the road to shoot on weekdays is a near impossibility, even early in the morning, thanks to the school.

Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune]

Not being an early riser by any stretch of imagination, getting up early in the morning to go and shoot pictures was going to be a near herculean task. After a few false starts, finally managed to get up early enough today.

Some pictures I took with the Nokia C3-00's 2 MP camera. Unlike the coconut tree climber last time, no elevated area nearby over here. So unable to take any top view photographs.

Click on the thumbnails to view larger-sized images.

Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune] Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune]
Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune] Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune]
Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune] Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune]

By stitching together some individual photographs, created panorama pictures, which follow. Have higher resolution.

Click on the thumbnails to view larger-sized images.

Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune] Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune]
Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune] Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune]
Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune] Indian Army OT-62 Topas Armoured Vehicle [Khadki, Pune]

This vehicle is placed at the traffic junction next to the All Saints High School in Khadki.

Some quick facts about the OT-62 Topas Armoured Personal Carrier [APC]:

Origin: joint venture between Poland & erstwhile Czechoslovakia

Crew: 18 (1 driver + 1 Commander + 16 passengers)

Power plant: 6 cylinder inline Diesel engine producing 300 BHP at 1800 rpm

Current Status: retired from service in the Indian Army

Also check out: Warbird in Pune: MiG-23 MF Flogger Aircraft [Updated]

In fact, the OT-62 too is located on the same stretch of the road as the MiG-23. Following the direction given to reach the MiG-23 [given in the post], if one carries on travelling ahead further around 1-2 km, you will find the APC placed at the traffic junction right next to the school.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Machining Processes - Methods and Trends [Engineering Reading]

Amongst the things I enjoyed most in Mechanical Engineering was learning about the various machining processes, i.e, the metal-cutting operation. When going for industrial visits, watching a huge workpiece, often weighing a tonne or so, being machined with apparent ease on massive Machining Centers, as the cutting tool worked its way through the raw workpiece, engulfed in a flood of coolant, was a mesmerizing, almost hypnotic, sight.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

India's Light Combat Aircraft [LCA], Tejas [Wallpaper-sized pictures] [Updated]

These pictures of the Light Combat Aircraft [LCA], Tejas were circulating in a mailing list. Don't recollect having seen a few of these earlier - did not have these in my collection. Some others that did appear had been watermarked by people who had not shot the pictures.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Read Engineering magazines and publications for free [reading suggestion]

As a practicing Engineer [you - the one with a Graduates degree in Production Engineering & employed in "the IT field" or worse an investment banker, are not one of them], reading trade magazines, publications & whitepapers are a good way of keeping oneself abreast of latest developments in the related Engineering field.

College library had a smallish collection of such trade publications relevant to Mechanical Engineering. With no more College to bunk attend, access to such magazines also no longer remains.

Just signed up for a few complimentary subscriptions at the TradePub site -

Their FAQ states that it would take 12 weeks for subscription to begin, if your request application is approved. Probably referring to hard copies - may send the digital copies sooner. Just guessing though. Also in most of the offers, people living outside USA & Canada are eligible to receive only digital copies - still a good deal IMO - if you get it, its free, if not, still lost nothing.

May have a higher probability of your request getting approved if you ask for the subscription in the form of digital copies.

Few magazines for which I requested a free digital subscription. Now waiting to see if they send something my way.

Motion System Design magazine Avionics Intelliegence magazine
Power Engineering International Product Design and development magazine

Google reveals more such sites. Will check out a few of them too.

Considering that they would offer you the subscription as part of their promotion campaign, you may just find your inbox getting flooded with their promo mails subsequently. To be on the safer side, create a new e-mail id and use it for applying for these subscriptions.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

India's Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope [GMRT] [World's largest]

"It is a place where only the best and brightest of students get a chance to work. Their work is so advanced that others can only dream about doing such work."

India's Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope [GMRT], Narayangaon, Pune district

image: courtesy

Words to that effect used by our Science teacher when we were in class 6 or 8 [we got allotted the same classroom in both classes - able recollect the setting where she* talked about it but not quite the class we were in].

At least that is how I chose to remember her describing the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope [GMRT] facility. She showed us some photographs of the GMRT location, one of which had a person standing next to one of the Radio Telescopes. The person, as was expected, looked like a tiny spec when compared to the massive telescope. That photograph convinced us all that the place is the "coolest" place one can work in & having such a workplace would, without doubt, be the most "awesome" thing that could happen to your life#.

Things did not quite proceed the way it had been chalked out sitting in the classroom that day as a 12-year old though. Instead of studying Pure Science, ended up studying Applied Science. Instead of synthesizing theorems, ended up applying them to solve problems [okay, who am I kidding - to clear exams, admitted] & anything smaller than crystal lattice structures became generally irrelevant to my course%.

The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope [GMRT] facility, located at Narayangaon, a little distance away from the Indian city of Pune, houses an array of 30 radio telescopes used for study in the field of Radio Astronomy. It is also the largest such research facility in the world, especially for the bandwidth it has been designed to look towards Space.

Construction costs of the telescopes were optimized by employing a method called Stretch Mesh Attached to Rope Trusses [SMART], instead of creating the parabolic arcs of the antennae using solid surfaces. It also helps them stay steady, & not deviate, when it encounters a heavy gust of wind - the wind simply passes through the mesh. It has been stated that resolution of pictures of Space obtained by the GMRT facility equals that of a hypothetical telescope that uses a parabolic dish 25 kilometers in diameter - impressive feat, by any standards.

Duration: ~20 minutes

India's Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope [GMRT] facility

Related resources:

Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope [GMRT]

National Centre for Radio Astrophysics

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research


If you have got bored of watching video streams of paint drying or mold growing, then there is a webcast of something a little less [or maybe just as] interesting - watch the outside of a telescope located in a remote & desolate place, as it goes about doing nothing for better part of the day.

Himalayan Chandra Telescope, IAO, Hanle

Camera situated at the rear end of the facility - possibly a security monitoring arrangement, especially considering that that it is located very close to the India-China border. Though, in a manner it is also exciting to be able to watch some place else, far away, in real-time, even as you can go about your life elsewhere.

Photo Gallery of the facility



* incidentally, had a *MAJOR* crush on her while in school. Unfortunately she was a temp and taught us only for a few months IIRC - ages ago - a different time altogether

# a variation of this belief, I still believe in. Then again, we were, in all likelihood in class 6-8 translating to being around 12-14 years old. How else would 12-year olds describe the good things, other than calling it cool and awesome.

% broadly speaking