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Dr. Vinod Karar
Chief Scientist 







The department of Optical Devices & Systems has been contributing significantly to the development of key optronics technologies for strategic, industrial and societal applications. The multidisciplinary research and development activities carried out in the department include opto-avionics, holographic optics, optical thin film coatings, precision mechanics, material science, complex electronics systems and software, system and aesthetic engineering, etc. In recent past, the department has developed key aerospace technologies such as Head Up Displays (HUD) with multiple customized configurations and varying specifications for multitude of aircraft platforms such as HUD Mk1 for LCA Airforce, HUD Mk1N for Tejas-Navy, HUD H-Series for Intermediate Jet Trainer Aircraft (IJTA), Bore Sighting Equipment & Systems, and Automated Test Equipment & Aviation Display Test Platforms for LCA-AF, Tejas Navy and IJTA. The other aerospace technologies being developed at CSIO include advanced variants of Head Up Displays such as HUD-Mk2-AF for LCA MK2-AF, HUD-MK2-NAV for LCA Mk2-Navy, HUD-MK1-NP for LCA-Navy, Pilot Display Unit for Hawk-i aircraft, Wing and Fin Night Vision Goggle Compatible Navigation Lights, Taxi & Landing Lights and Drogue Lights for Light Combat Aircraft.
The digital holographic camera for non-destructive (NDT) testing applications and NDT Schlieren methodology are few other R&D activities in specialized optics domain which have been undertaken in recent past. The design, fabrication, assembly and metrology of complex optical systems based on spherical, aspheric, freeform, diffractive and holographic optical components, variety of optical filters & optical coatings are being carried out as part of many ongoing projects activities. The development of electronic hardware and associated software for next generation display technologies have also been carried out to realize technological solutions for number of applications.
In past, CSIO had designed & developed lenses for Microscope, Strip film, Diascope and Epidiascope projectors. The ‘Optical Devices & Systems’ department played a key role in upliftment of the optical industry in the private sector through development of technology and transferring know-how of basic optical instruments like optical microscopes, telescopes, photocopying machines, scanning objectives, cine projection optics, CCTV lenses, data processing lenses, Raman spectroscopy condenser, micro-film readers, precision graticules and scales, interference filters, cold and hot mirrors, auto-slide projectors, digital calorimeter, and ophthalmoscope meeting the requirements of small and medium scale industry. The other key technological developments in yesteryears at the department of ‘Optical Devices & Systems’ include AN-2 plotter installed at Kamorta Ships, 70mm aerial panoramic camera for horizon to horizon photography for Hawk Aircraft, 35mm Minipan camera for unmanned aerial vehicle, Relay lens system for airborne applications, neutral density and anti-reflection filter for Doordarshan and other industrial applications, optics for 6MeV Linear Accelerator Machines for cancer radiotherapy, and Surgical microscope for cataract surgery.
The design of such complex systems require activities involving avionics, analog & digital electronics, embedded system, advanced software and simulation tools, advanced optics involving spherical, aspheric, freeform, diffractive and holographic optics, optical thin film coatings, precision mechanics, material science, system and aesthetic engineering. The group provides technological solutions for import substitution in strategic sector with globally competitive specifications and customizes its innovative technologies as per end user requirements. With recent activities in the area of advanced optics, optical thin films, electronics and software, the department is fully equipped to handle new challenges in allied and derivative areas.


  • Avionics lab works on the design and development of advanced electronics systems based on different computing platforms. The system design includes from a breadboard-level hardware design to EMI/ EMC compliant rugged PCB systems. Thermal analysis, reliability analysis, mixed signal & circuit simulation, circuit and PCB design, FPGA and DSP tools, advanced microprocessors & microcontrollers, MATLAB, LabVIEW, high level languages, etc. are few other domains in which the lab is working.
  • The opto-mechanical lab designs complex mechanical assemblies complying to the specified thermal & vibration MIL-standards. The optical design laboratory is involved in the design and simulation of optical components as per desired specification for different application
  • The optical fabrication laboratory fabricates optical elements using conventional and contemporary fabrication processes. Among the contemporary processes, aspheric and free-form surface generations are two distinctive capabilities in the department
  • The optical metrology laboratory inclusive of several modern facilities provide testing of optical and related materials in varied range of electromagnetic spectrum.
  • The Thin film lab is equipped with excellent infrastructure and highly trained manpower to take up challenges in the niche areas of thin film coating such as novel thin film coating for broadband antireflection, highly reflective multiband pass filters, and neutral density filters.
  • The holography lab is involved in designs and development of  holographic optical elements for various applications such as interferometry and non-destructive testing applications.
The lab is well equipped with modern advanced optical fabrication and characterization facilities which include:
  • Five axis CNC Grinding Machine
  • Six axis CNC Polishing Machine
  • Two axis and three axis Single Point Diamond Turning (SPDT) Machines
  • Aspheric & Freeform Optical Metrology Equipment
  • Magneto-rheological Finishing (MRF) Machine
  • Conventional Optical Fabrication Machines
  • Ion Assisted Dual Electron Beam Thermal Physical Vapor Deposition
  • LED Characterization Setup
  • Gonio spectro-radiometer
  • Avionics and Head-Up Display Test Platform recognized at national level and certified by Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness
  • X-ray Diffractometer
  • Talysurf Phase Grating Interferometer
  • UV-VIS-NIR Spectrophotometer
  • Coherence Correlation Interferometer
  • Zygo Interferometer
  • Software Tools for Thermal Analysis, Reliability Analysis, Mixed Signal & Circuit Simulation, Circuit and PCB Design, MATLAB, LabVIEW, High Level Languages,
  • Mechanical Design Tools: AutoDesk Inventor, SolidWorks, SolidEdge
  • Optical Design Tools: ZEEMAX, OSLO
  • Optical Illumination Design: TRACEPRO, ASAP
  • Optical Coating Design Tools: FilmStar, OptiLayer
  • Optical Surface Analysis Tools: TalyMap Gold
  • Hardware and Software Tools for FPGA & DSP platforms, Advanced Microprocessors & Microcontrollers.



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