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BSF to use Invisible Laser Wall Kavach to Secure Border

The Border Security Force will make use of a newly developed technology that is capable of detecting intrusions and relaying information to the nearest post for action to safeguard the 198 km India-Pakistan international border in Jammu and Kashmir. The technology developed by the Delhi-based defence IoT firm, CRON Systems is expected to bolster BSF’s defences amid strained ties and increase in the number of infiltration bids and ceasefire violations. The new technology called Kavach (KVx) series laser walls has been built indigeneously and are a notch higher than the existing laser walls.

BSF is presently pilot testing the Kavach walls along the Samba sector border in Jammu and Kashmir.

Salient features

Kavach walls have intrusion detection system based on infrared array and hence are invisible. They will also be effective in transparent water and glass. Kavach walls are all-terrain weather-proof system that uses complex, encrypted technologies to monitor and immediately alert the nearest outpost about intrusion attempts. It is capable of monitoring large swathes of any territory from a single interface. The devices will use CRONet, an encrypted network, to communicate with each other. Five such KVx-series walls will be capable of securing a kilometre-long stretch.

Background

India and Pakistan share 3000km border of which 198 km international border and 740 km Line of Control (LoC) falls in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Infiltration of Pakistani terrorists along the border area which has 13 rivers and rivulets is a major issue for the BSF.

BSF has been making use of various technologies like electric fencing, and other technologies such as laser to detect and prevent intrusions. Adoption of Kavach walls are the latest in the series of upgradations made by the force.

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China Simulates Lunar-like Environment

China has set up a 160-square-meter (1,720-square-foot)  laboratory — dubbed as “Yuegong-1”, or “Lunar Palace” for simulating a lunar-like environment. Four Postgraduate students from the Beijing’s astronautics research university will live in the laboratory for up to 200 days in a bid to prepare for China’s long term  goal of putting humans on the moon.

The student volunteers would be sealed inside the cabin with no input from the outside world in order to simulate long-term, self-contained space mission. The cabin will have facilities for treatment of human wastes through bio-fermentation process. The experimental crops would also be grown in the labratory with the help of food and waste byproducts. The cabin according to Chinese agencies represents  the “world’s most advanced closed-loop life-support technology so far.”

The Lunar Palace is hailed as the world’s third bioregenerative life-support base and the first to be developed in China. The Lunar Palace is the first of its kind facility to involve animals and microorganisms as well as plants and humans. It has two plant cultivation modules and a living cabin consisting of four bed cubicles, a common room, a bathroom, a waste-treatment room and a room for raising animals.

Initially, a group of four students comprising two men and two women will be sealed inside the cabin for an initial stay of 60 days who will then be replaced by another group of four, who will stay for 200 days.

Though, China does not have any plans to land its astronauts on moon for at least another decade, this project is expected to help it prepare lunar explorers for longer stays on the surface of the moon.

Background

China views the programme as a mark of its raising global stature and as a step to catch up with the United States and Europe. Recently, China’s first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, successfully docked with an orbiting space lab. However, so far China has been largely replicating the activities carried out by the U.S. and Soviet Union decades ago. It was hailed as a major step towards China’s ambition of establishing a permanently manned space station by 2022. China has an ambitious plan of building a permanent space station by 2022, that will be in the orbit for at least 10 years.

In May 2014, China conducted a 105-day experiment by placing a team comprising of two women and one man from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) in ‘Moon Palace 1’, a 160-square-meter self-contained laboratory with an intention to prepare for placing astronauts in outer space for extended periods of time.

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NASA detects Signs of Water in a distant Neptune Sized Planet

Scientists have detected “a strong water signature” in the atmosphere of a distant Neptune-sized planet called HAT-P-26b. The study conducted using NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has showed that  HAT-P-26b has a primitive atmosphere composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. Although the planet is not a water world, its atmosphere which is relatively clear of clouds has a strong water signature.

Researchers have detected the presence of water by pooling data obtained from four transits when the planet passed in front of its host star. By studying how the signatures of the starlight changes, researchers can come up with the chemical composition of the atmosphere. The study has been published in the journal Science.

Significance

This study is one of the most detailed studies till date conducted in a planet that is roughly the size of the Neptune and close to its star. The water measured in the planet is one of the best measurement of water to date found on an exoplanet of this size. The  HAT-P-26b is located about 437 light years away. The significance of the study lies in the fact that it would help in understanding more about the birth and development of planetary systems.

The data obtained will also come handy in estimating the HAT-P-26b’s metallicity, which is an indication of composition of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. The planet’s metallicity was found to be about 4.8 times that of the Sun. It would help in understanding the planet formation.

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