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.

Sand-eating Micrixalus herrei tadpoles species found in Western Ghats

Researchers have discovered Sand-eating tadpole species named Micrixalus herrei in Western Ghats. The tadpole belongs to the so-called Indian Dancing Frog family, Micrixalidae.

They were discovered from the deep recesses of streambeds in the Western Ghats

Key facts

  • They get their name Micrixalidae, from their habit of waving their legs as a sign of territorial and sexual display while sitting on boulders in streams.
  • It lives in total darkness i.e. they are of fossorial [underground] nature and comes out after fully developing into a young frog.
  • Their fossorial nature is considered as a rare occurrence in the amphibian world.
  • These tadpole species have purple colour and possess muscular eel-like bodies. They have skin-covered eyes, which helps them to burrow through gravel beds.
  • They lack teeth but have powerful suckering mouths and have serrated jaw sheaths in order to prevent large sand grains from entering the mouth while feeding and moving through sand.
  • These tadpoles have ribs and whitish globular sacs also known as lime sacs for storing calcium carbonate.