When IPR built first Indian tokamak ADITYA indigenously in 1989, the need was felt to start RF Group to have plasma heating and other related experiments in ADITYA. The activity of RF Group was initiated in 1990.
With the active guidance of Prof. D. Bora as a Project Leader of the RF Group, additional responsibility of Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating and Lower Hybrid Current Drive was also included since in 1995, when IPR started developing Steady State Superconducting Tokamak called SST-1.
In 1990, RF group started developing 2W amplifier and then 20W, 200 W, 2kW using triode, 20 and 200 kW amplifiers using tetrodes. Thereafter the RF Group developed 1.5 MW amplifier system and successfully tested to produce 450 kW power in the frequency range of 20-40 MHz. While developing this technology only triode/tetrode vacuum tubes were imported and the RF generator cavity with all state of the art input and output circuitries are indigenously designed and developed in house. The group also developed all other auxiliaries like power supplies, hard wired interlocks, VME based Data Acquisition and Control, front end electronics, high voltage crow bar system as well as all high power RF components like transmission line, directional couplers, reducers, adaptors, switches, bends, antenna, interface, dielectric barrier, RF diagnostics among many others.
Although the RF power required is in few tens of Megawatts, the building block of the system is 1.5 MW, which is already developed and now RF group is developing MW level RF systems in other frequency ranges required for Aditya.
RF group also carried out successfully some of the experiments like RF heating, pre-ionization and current ramp-up at lower loop voltages in ADITYA and also pre-ionization experiments in SST-1 using the developed RF systems.
The division also provides a learning platform for students across various disciplines (both physics and engineering) and helps them to introduce to various topics in physics of wave plasma interaction in tokamak and laboratory plasma, electromagnetic modelling of high frequency antenna and structures, high power RF technology, high voltage and electrical engineering, Instrumentation and control etc.
Because of India's participation in ITER project some of the members are shifted to ITER India and few in France as well as in other groups. However their contribution in developing ICRH system is highly acknowledged.