Interdisciplinary Research Centre

1. Background
     The aim of the IRC is to bridge the gulf between academia and industry by providing, within a legal framework, a solid and reputable platform to academic community for delivering projects within time, cost and quality. The IRC was established vide the decision of 4th Air University Board of Governors meeting held on 19 October, 2007. The IRC is registered as a Private Limited Company. It is thus able to pick up projects from the industry.
2. IRC Business Approach
      At IRC we can offer “Try before Buy” to the customers which allows customers to know EXACTLY what will be delivered and IRC can offer competitive pricing, which in other integration oriented projects is not possible. We can therefore do unmatched value addition in best cost and deliver international standard training and services. IRC is providing ‘Just Right’ conditions for Consultancy, Training and HRD, Technical Solutions, Academia / Industry Collaboration and Innovation, Research & Development
3. Collaboration with National Instruments (NI)
      National Instruments is Headquartered in Austin, Texas. It has more than 5,200 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries around the globe. It has annual revenue of over gross US$10Billion including subsidies and alliance partners (Commercial US$1B, Defence US$9B) and it is one of the Top Ten Technology Companies in the World. Its flagship product, LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware sells to a broad base of more than 30,000 different and diverse companies worldwide. AU signed an MoU with NI to declare IRC as a Technology Mediation Center for Middle East Region, on 10 Feb 2011 which was further extended to Dec 2013.
4. Projects completed in house till Feb 2012
IRC completed numerous projects during the year 2011 for Pakistan Army, PAF, Strategic Organizations and Industry in general.
     4.1. Industry and Academia
      (a) Machine Inspection System
     (b) Luminance Analysis System Capability
     (c) Adaptive Noise Cancellation Test Rig
     (d) Distributed Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) for Power & Alternate Energy
     (e) Structural Health Monitoring for the Bridges and Dila
5. Training and Project Start-up Assistance Services
     Training and Project Start-up Assistance Services for System Integrators are primarily our strategic investment in developing conducive relationship with prospective customers and understanding their problems. Following main areas are focused in this critical segment:-
      (a) Human Resource Development Centre
     (b) Faculty Training: Train the Trainer
     (c) National Instruments has authorized IRC to conduct Certification Exams
     5.1 The NI-Human Resource Development Centre (NI-HRDC) and Collaborative Project Support Programme (NI-CPSP) at Air University would substantially help end users to reduce their development time and save budget through sustainable Human Resource Development Model in place.
     5.2 Air University has started LabVIEW training courses of 2012 in collaboration with National Instruments. LabVIEW basics and LabVIEW advance application development courses are running since the month of January, 2012.
     5.3 LabVIEW is Graphical Programming environment used by millions of engineers and scientists to develop sophisticated measurement, test, and control systems using intuitive graphical icons and wires that resemble a flowchart. It offers unrivaled integration with thousands of hardware devices and provides hundreds of built-in libraries for advanced signal processing, analysis and data visualization. LabVIEW facilitates in faster programming while maintaining execution speed of textual programming languages like C/C++.
6. Customer-base Diversification
The customer diversification is important for strategic growth and stable sales of any business organization. We have seen in past years that our technologically advanced solutions have market in four business segments i.e., strategic organizations, DGDP, exports and trainings.
7. Technology Outreach Lab: Community and Knowledge Exchange
     Technology outreach Lab has been created through IRC at Air University as a platform for developing awareness and interest in students for projects of direct benefit to our society in general and under privileged community in particular. The aim is to capitalize the research at university by developing projects using state-of-the-art, cost effective and rugged hardware that can be delivered directly to the deprived regions world-wide by making technology simpler but not simple.
Some of the ongoing projects under the ambit of TOL are:-
     a) Solar Water Filtering
     b) Tele Medicine
     c) FOG Analysis on Motorway using NVD and Thermal Images Fusion
     7.1. Objectives
        a) Technology Solutions with Social and Community Responsibility
        b) Sustainable Human Resource Development
        c) Strategic Technology Partnerships
        d) Promoting Culture of Innovation, Compliance, Safety and Quality
     7.2. Telemedicine
     Telemedicine for Rural Health Services (with rugged ambient temperature operations) is an interesting project. Air University and Planet NI are collaborating on the provisioning of rural health services through automated encounters / observation entry system through an embedded Patient Data Concentrator that is linked to Open MRS (medical record system). Open MRS compatibility is being added to FDA approved electro-medical devices and the data is automatically fed into the database as automated encounter by remote client.
 
                              
     7.3. Low power Array of DC Solar pumps
Batteries are expensive to maintain at rural sites in community projects. We are focusing on the array of DC powered Pumps that can be directly connected to the solar panels thus allowing to implement a scalable water pumping and purification system. Project also includes a solar power remote GSM based reporting system for assessing the status of the system.
                
     7.4. Events Participated
     a) Air University at British Council Connect Event
     b) Tele-medicine Connect Event
     c) IRC project @ NI WEEK Austin Texas 2012
     d) Air University has been on the title cover of Feb 2013 NI USA News letter
     e) US National Radio has also approached Air University for a separate programme on the success story of the solution and to attract further funding from local donors.
                                                         
     7.5. Telemedicine for Rural Areas
 Project is awarded to IRC by National Instruments USA. The aim of project is to develop rugged solutions that do not need air-conditioning and can perform in our rural areas in harsh environment. We have already received the first purchase order from National Instruments. This is being considered a solution towards the Melinda and Bill gates foundation 10 challenges. IRC appeared on the NI newsletter of Feb 2013.
                
     7.6. Technology Outreach Lab
     Substantial funding (Non Military) is available with USAID, British Council and other donor agencies. Aim of this Lab is to tap the resource and deliver social sector projects that would benefit both society and university.