Communication Technology Current Affairs

ISRO develops Telemetry and Telecommand Processor

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has indigenously developed Telemetry & Telecommand Processor (TTCP) and its productionisation will be initiated with the help of Indian industry.

The processor development was undertaken up by ISRO as part of ‘Make in India’ campaign to replace the expensive imported equipment necessary for uplinking and downlinking to satellites. 

Key Facts
  • TTCP has been developed by Bengaluru based of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC). Besides, Spacecraft Checkout Group of ISAC is responsible for testing it.
  • It will be used by ISRO in Integrated Spacecraft Testing of Low Earth Orbit, Geostationary Orbit and Interplanetary Spacecraft.
  • It is configurable to meet uplink and downlink requirements of both CCSDS (Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems) and ISRO standards and multiple clients to remotely access for data and monitoring.
  • The system was developed on Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) platform. The softcore processor on board the FPGA allows programming all features of TCCP remotely.
  • It is being tested on the ground using the same communication protocols that will be used in space. During test, ground systems will communicate to spacecraft via the same uplink and downlink signals, as in space.
  • This indigenously developed Processor has been successfully deployed for the first time in checkout of GSAT-19, which is scheduled to be launched shortly onboard of GSLV-Mk III-D1.

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China launches World’s first Quantum Communication Satellite

China has successfully launched the world’s first quantum satellite dubbed as Quantum Experiments at Space Scaler (QUESS) satellite.

The satellite was launched on board of Long March-2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the remote northwestern province of Gansu.

Key Features

  • The QUESS satellite has been nicknamed as Micius after a 5th century BC Chinese philosopher.
  • It will be located in sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km and will circle the Earth once every 90 minutes.
  • The satellite will help China to establish hack-proof communications system by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground.
  • Applications: Ranges from highly secured military and government communications to online shopping.

Significance

Earlier, researchers around the world had successfully sent quantum messages on land. But this first of its kind satellite-based quantum network would make it possible to send quickly encrypted (hack proof) messages around the world. It also opens door to other possible uses of the technology. The launch is also a major triumph for China in the field of quantum technology.

What is Quantum communication?

  • Quantum communication boasts ultra-high security communication. It uses subatomic particles to securely communicate between two points.
  • In case intruder (hacker) tries to crack the message in Quantum communication, it will change its form in a way that would alert the sender and cause the message to be altered or deleted.

Note: Chinese philosopher Micius has been credited for conducting optical experiments.

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