Current Affairs March 2016

PM Narendra Modi unveils Asia’s largest optical telescope ARIES at Nainital

Asia’s largest and first of its kind optical telescope Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) was unveiled at Devasthal in Nainital District, Uttrakahnd.

It was remotely activated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel from Belgium.

Key facts

  • Aries telescope was joint collaborative technological effort between Indian and Belgian scientists.
  • Location: It has been located at a height of 2,500 metres at Devasthal in Nainital district. The site was chosen for getting a clear view of the sky.
  • Features: The ARIES optical telescope has mirror of 3.6 m diameter.
  • The telescope facility has been incorporated with high end technology which enables it to be operated with the help of remote control from anywhere in the world.
  • Applications: It will help in the study and exploration of planets, starts, magnetic field and astronomical debris. It will also help research of star structures and magnetic field structures of stars.

Background

The ARIES telescope has been a joint international effort between Indian, Russian and Belgian scientist. In March 2007 ARIES and Belgian company Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems (AMOS) had entered a contract for design, manufacture, integration, testing, supply and installation of the telescope. Belgium also had funded 7 per cent of the project whose total cost is estimated to be more than 120 crore rupees.

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India’s first indigenously developed sonar dome flagged off

India’s first indigenous composites sonar dome, a ship’s underwater eyes and ears, was flagged off by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The sonar dome was dedicated to the nation dedicated to the nation and will be delivered to Mazgaon Docks, Mumbai for use in the warships of Indian Navy.

Key facts

  • The sonar dome is dsigned and produced by a Defence and Research Development Organisation’s (DRDO’s) Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) lab based in Pune.
  • It is a first of its kind in the country to be manufactured by the Goa-based composites manufacturing company Kineco.
  • The sonar dome functions as the ship’s underwater eyes and ears and mostly all anti-submarine warfare (ASW) ships have a sonar array fitted to the ship structure below the waterline.
  • The sonar dome is a structure is fitted over the sonar array to make it acoustically transparent in order to avoid exposure of its electronics and sensors to surrounding hostile environment.

With successfully building indigenous sonar dome, India joins a select group of nations which have the capability of realising large composites structure with complex geometry, high structural rigidity and multi-functional requirements with acoustic transparency.

Sonar: It is an acronym for SOund Navigation And Ranging. It is a technique that uses sound propagation (usually underwater) to navigate, communicate with or detect objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels.

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