Amar Deo Chandra

I am currently a final year PhD student (INSPIRE fellow ) at the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI) , IISER Kolkata . I obtained my Integrated MSc. (Physics) from the UM-DAE Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences.

Besides research, I am passionate about disseminating science to the masses through popular outreach talks, experimental demonstrations, print and the electronic media. You can find a partial list of outreach efforts I have been involved as a co-founder and independent volunteer, in our initiatives Promote Science , Science outreach in Ranchi (in my hometown) and as an outreach coordinator of our SPIE IISER Kolkata student chapter . I am also the co-founder of Paradigm...cultivating innovation , an annual science exhibition-cum-competition organized for school students during INQUIVESTA in IISER Kolkata.

Email  /  Google Scholar  /  LinkedIn  /  Astrobreeze  /  Promote Science

Research

My research interests include developing novel instruments for optical spectroscopy and imaging, beam shaping/adaptive optics using Spatial Light Modulators (SLMs), developing iterative algorithms for generating optimised computer generated holograms, phase reconstruction using iterative algorithms and designing automated pipelines for data analysis. I am also interested in using machine learning to tackle challenging problems and also alleviate human suffering in areas such as medical diagnostics. Some of my other interests include trying to comprehend radio pulsar emission using multi-frequency observations, timing and spectroscopy of X-ray pulsars. I have been priviledged to utilise Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) processed data and data from space missions (AstroSat and archival Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer) to explore fascinating manifestations of radio and X-ray pulsars respectively. I also have profound interests to explore the strongest magnets in our Universe viz. magnetars and fascinating cosmic objects called Ultraluminous X-ray Pulsars.

Current research interests: Hyperspectral imaging, Adaptive optics, X-ray pulsar timing and spectroscopy, Understanding manifestations of radio pulsar emission, disruptive technologies

List of publications

Ultraluminous X-ray Pulsar (ULXP) Catalogue


Detection of nearly periodic spin period reversals in Vela X-1 on long time-scales: inkling of solar-like cycle in the donor star?
A. D. Chandra, J. Roy, P. C. Agrawal and M. Choudhury.
To appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2021.


Efficient beam multiplexing and improving efficiency of a spatial light modulator using an iterative algorithm
A. D. Chandra and A. Banerjee.
SPIE Optics + Photonics 2020, Laser Beam Shaping XX (11486), 2020.
[PDF]


Rapid phase calibration of a spatial light modulator using novel phase masks and optimization of its efficiency using an iterative algorithm
A. D. Chandra and A. Banerjee.
Journal of Modern Optics 67 (7), 628-637, 2020.
[PDF]


Study of recent outburst in the Be/X-ray binary RX J0209.6-7427 with AstroSat: a new ultraluminous X-ray pulsar in the Magellanic Bridge?
A. D. Chandra, J. Roy, P. C. Agrawal and M. Choudhury.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 495 (3), 2664-2672, 2020.
[PDF]

Press release by the Royal Astronomical Society on our discovery
Ultra-bright X-ray source awakens near a galaxy not so far away

Invited by Prof. Jacco van Loon (Keele University, UK) to post results related to our discovery in the Magellanic Clouds Newsletter
Magellanic Clouds Newsletter




Observing Time Awarded

AstroSat (total 260 ks awarded as PI)

Technical skills

Programming
Python, C/C++, Fortran, shell scripting (bash), IDL, Latex, Mathematica, HTML

Software packages
FTOOLS, XSPEC, XRONOS, LaxpcSoft, GNUPlot, PGPLOT, LightPipes, HTCondor

Operating systems
Linux, Windows

Hardware
Interfacing devices using RS-232, USB and Labview

Other relevant skills
Data reduction of AstroSat and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) mission
Experience in developing automated pipelines from scratch for data reduction/analysis

Research experience

Development of a semi-coherent method to search for continuous gravitational waves (Aug-Sept 2014 and Nov-April 2015)
Advisor: Dr. Holger J. Pletsch, PI Emmy Noether group, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)

Spectral studies of X-ray pulsar Vela X-1 using Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (Aug-Dec 2013)
Advisors: Prof. P. C. Agrawal and Dr. Manojendu Choudhury, UM-DAE CEBS, Mumbai (MSc. thesis project)
Detection of nearly periodic spin period reversals in Vela X-1 on long time-scales: inkling of solar-like cycle in the donor star?
A. D. Chandra, J. Roy, P. C. Agrawal and M. Choudhury.
To appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2021.

Pulse shape variations in pulsars on long time-scales (May-July 2013)
Advisor: Prof. Yashwant Gupta, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics-Tata Instiute of Fundamental Research (NCRA-TIFR), Pune (VSRP summer project)

Timing studies of X-ray pulsar Vela X-1 using Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (Jan-April 2013)
Advisors: Prof. P. C. Agrawal and Dr. Manojendu Choudhury, UM-DAE CEBS, Mumbai (semester project)
Detection of nearly periodic spin period reversals in Vela X-1 on long time-scales: inkling of solar-like cycle in the donor star?
A. D. Chandra, J. Roy, P. C. Agrawal and M. Choudhury.
To appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2021.

Study regarding pulse shape variations in pulsars (May-July 2012)
Advisor: Prof. Yashwant Gupta, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics-Tata Instiute of Fundamental Research (NCRA-TIFR), Pune (Indian Academy of Sciences Summer project)

Teaching experience

Teaching assistant, Modern physics and optics (PH2203), IISER Kolkata (Spring 2019)

Teaching assistant, Advanced Optics Laboratory (PH3204), IISER Kolkata (Spring 2018)

Teaching assistant, Space astronomy (SS4202), CESSI, IISER Kolkata (Spring 2017)

Teaching assistant, Physics Laboratory I (PH1102), IISER Kolkata (Autumn 2016)

Awards and Honors

Awarded scholarship in form of full fee waiver to attend the European Virtual Summer School on Adaptive Optics (7-10 June, 2021) .

Awarded SPIE International Day of Light (IDL) micro-grant (funding $1000) for conducting outreach activities during inaugural edition of IDL 2018 (total 14 awardess across the globe).

INSPIRE fellowship, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, March 2016-present.

Visiting Summer Research Programme (VSRP) fellowship, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics-Tata Instiute of Fundamental Research (NCRA-TIFR), May-July 2013.

Indian Academy of Sciences-Indian National Science Academy-The National Academy of Sciences, India (IASc-INSA-NASI) Summer Research Fellowship 2012.

INSPIRE scholarship, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, July 2009-July 2014.

Relevant courses

Machine Learning with Python
IBM digital credential

Participated in the Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN) course on A short course on Super-oscillations and Weak Measurement held from 5-12 December, 2016 in IISER Kolkata. The course was taught by Prof. Sir Michael Victor Berry, University of Bristol.

Fluid and Magneto-hydrodynamics (Spring 2016)

Computational Physics (Autumn 2015)

Attended a set of twelve lectures on Experimental astronomy by Prof. Alec Boksenberg (FRS, Former Director, Royal Greenwich Observatory) during February, 2014.

Professional service

Referee for Applied Physics Letters, Applied Optics, Journal of Optics, Journal of Physics Communications, New Journal of Physics, Optics Express, OSA Continuum, Review of Scientific Instruments
LOC for three day student organised conference "Contemporary Trends in Optics 2019" (CoOpt-2019)
LOC for one day outreach workshop on International Day of Light (IDL) 2018
LOC for three day student organised conference "Contemporary Trends in Optics 2017" (CoOpt-2017)
LOC (lead) for three day workshop on "Space Astronomy and Telescope Making" 2017
LOC (lead) for World Space Week 2015 outreach events

Public outreach (selected events)

Delivered a popular astronomy talk on "Lifecycle of Stars" and existing/upcoming astronomy facilities in India on 8 June, 2018 to Jagadis Bose National Science Talent Search (JBNSTS) junior scholars during the science workshop organised in IISER Kolkata. This workshop was attended by about 50 junior scholars.

Co-organised PARADIGM-cultivating innovation... on 2nd February, 2018 during INQUIVESTA 2018--annual science fest of IISER Kolkata. I also delivered a popular astronomy talk on "Lifecycle of Stars " and existing/upcoming astronomy facilities in India during the outreach session. I was also responsible for maintaining social media portals for the event.

Co-organised outreach activities on the occasion of "Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse" on 31 January, 2018. I delivered one of the curtain raiser talks titled "What is a Super-Blue-Blood Moon Eclipse?" and co-led the total lunar eclipse viewing party using a 6-inch reflecting telescope. The skygazing session was a memorable one and witnessed a huge turnout of 500+ participants.

Co-organised a half-day special outreach session on "A career in science after 12th class" in our alma mater JVM Shyamali on 27 December, 2017. This event was co-led by another alumni Shashikant Singh, Scientist, Semi-Conductor Laboratory ISRO. The outreach event was attended by about 100 students and their guardians.

Delivered a popular astronomy talk on "Our solar system" to 9th grade school students during the Salters Chemistry Camp organized by IISER Kolkata along with Royal Society of Chemistry and Government of West Bengal. This camp was held in IISER Kolkata from 19-21 December, 2017 and was attended by 66 school students.

Co-organised an experimental demonstration session for school students from Ek-Pehal on the occasion of Children's day on 14 November, 2017.

Co-organised three day workshop on "Space Astronomy and Telescope Making" from 24-26 March, 2017. The student driven workshop involved active participation from the student community and twenty-five 4-inch reflecting telescopes were built during this period. I also maintained social media portals for this workshop.

Co-organised World Space Week 2015 events including painting competition, quiz, experimental demonstration events, public talks etc.

Organised Supermoon skygazing event using a 6-inch telescope on 28 September, 2015 for Ek-Pehal students and undergraduate students of IISER Kolkata. The event witnessed a turnout of more than three hundred participants.

References

Available upon request


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