Science and Technology Current Affairs

ISRO to develop full-fledged Hyperspectral Imaging Earth observation satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch a full-fledged niche Earth observation (EO) satellite — called the Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS).

The HySIS satellite has critical chip called an “optical imaging detector array’” indigenously developed by ISRO. Its launch will allow ISRO to enter the domain of operational hyperspectral imaging from earth orbit.

Hyperspectral Imaging

Hyperspectral imaging or hyspex imaging (imaging spectroscopy) combines the power of digital imaging and spectroscopy. It collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. Hyspex’ imaging enables distinct identification of objects, materials or processes on Earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space. The hyspex technology is still an evolving science. In recent times, it has become trend that is being experimented globally. It has ability to add a new dimension to plain-vanilla optical imagers.

Key Facts

HySIS satellite developed by ISRO can see in 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above ground. It can be used for a range of applications from monitoring the environment, crops, looking for oil and minerals, military surveillance. The architecture of the optical imaging detector array chip on board of satellite has been designed by the payloads development centre, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad. It was manufactured at ISRO’s electronics arm, the Semi-Conductor Laboratory, Chandigarh. It can read upto 1000 x 66 pixels.

Background

ISRO for first time had tried out hyspex imaging technology in an 83-kg IMS-1 experimental satellite in May 2008. The same year, it also had mounted hyperspectral camera on Chandrayaan-1 and used to map lunar mineral resources. Globally so far, very few space agencies have such a satellite.

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August 10: International Biodiesel Day

The International Biodiesel Day (IBD) is celebrated every year on August 10 in a bid to create awareness about non fossil-fuels (Green Fuels). The day also honours the research experiments by Sir Rudolf Diesel who ran an engine with peanut oil in the year of 1893. His research experiment had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines.

About Biodiesel

The Biodiesel is an alternative fuel which can be used in place of fossil fuels. It is manufactured from vegetable oils, recycled grease, algae, and animal fat. It is produced through a chemical process called transesterification, in which glycerine is separated from the vegetable oil or fat. It can be seen as alternative to conventional fossil fuels.

Benefits of Biodiesel

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel. It can be used in diesel engines with little or no modification. It can be produced locally. It is biodegradable, sustainable, non-toxic environment friendly fuel. On burning, it emits 60% less carbon dioxide (CO2). The energy produced by biodiesel on combustion is approximately 90% of that of energy produced by petroleum diesel. It is also used in non-engine applications such as to remove paint etc. Byproducts–methyl esters and glycerine obtained during production of biodiesel can be used preparation of soaps and other products

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