He was later on appointed by the Government of India as Director, National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) of ISRO/ Department of Space. Prof Narayana Rao greatly contributed in making NARL a world-class Centre of Excellence for research in frontier areas of Atmospheric Science, LIDAR and Radar Technology.
He had the unique privilege of sensitizing and motivating the young students of SRM University, Chennai in designing, developing and fabricating a Nano Satellite, SRMSAT launched by ISRO in October 2011.
He has published more than 150 research papers in highly reputed international journals.33 students were awarded their Ph.D degrees under his research supervision. In recognition of his scientific contributions, he has received several awards including Sir. C.V. Raman award for outstanding contribution to Physical Sciences awarded by UGC, K.R. Ramanathan award for outstanding contributions to Atmospheric Sciences, Andhra Pradesh Scientist Award for outstanding contributions to Physical Sciences, Astronautical Society of India (ASI) award for excellence in the field of Space Science and Applications, presented by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in the year 1996. He had the privilege of receiving the S.S. Bhatnagar Memorial Award (ISCA) from the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in the year 2011.
He is a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India and a Fellow and Vice President of the Institution of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE) and member of several Scientific and Technical Committees. He was the President of Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences during 2007-2010.
He has visited a number of countries including USA, Canada, Peru, U.K. France, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong., Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Australia and Japan on various academic and scientific assignments and for international scientific collaboration. He has made significant contributions through international collaboration in the field of Atmospheric Sciences to monitor regional and global Climate Variability.
Prof Narayana Rao worked as Visiting Professor several times in Nagoya University & Kyoto University, Japan and also as Visiting Professor in National Central University, Chung-Li, Taiwan
Prof Narayana Rao was the Project Director of SRMSAT, a Nano Satellite designed and developed by the students of SRM University. He took the complete responsibility for the design and development of SRMSAT. The satellite was launched from SHAR Centre, Sriharikota in October 2011.
Prof Narayana Rao was General President, Indian Science Congress Association for the year 2016-17. Prof Narayana Rao has been appointed as Pro Vice Chancellor of SRM University-AP Amaravati. With more than 30 years of academic, research and administrative experience blended with progressive views, organizational strengths, Prof Narayana Rao has demonstrated his academic, professional and administrative capabilities as an institution builder.