Science & Technology Current Affairs - 2019

Science & Technology Current Affairs 2019-2020 category comprises current affairs with all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2019-2020 for UPSC, States, Civil services, SSC and other competitive examinations of India and States.

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ISRO to launch 14 small satellites

In next 2 months, ISRO will launch 14 small foreign satellites in its next three PSLVs (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles). The projects are to be implemented by November and December.

Highlights

  • The payloads are to be launched in three PSLV flights namely PSLV-C47, PSLV-C48, PSLV-C49.
  • The Indian payload Cartosat-3 will be the primary payload of PSLV-C47. The Cartosat satellites are a series of Indian earth observatory satellites built and operated by ISRO. The Cartosat-3 is a remote sensing satellite.
  • So far ISRO has launched 300 small satellites to low earth orbits for foreign customers.

Small Satellite

The small satellites weigh around 500 kg. These satellites reduce large economic costs of launch vehicles. They are of lower cost, more frequent, quicker and offer broader access to space. They are primarily used for communication, research, meteorology and insurance.

The small satellites are mini-satellites, micro-satellites and nano-satellites.

ISRO’s Nano-satellites

The INS-ISRO Nano Satellites have capability to carry up to 3 kg. The primary objective of the INS is to provide an opportunity to carry payloads for universities and R&D laboratories. They also provide an opportunity for ISRO technology demonstration payloads.

Bio Bricks from Agri waste

The researchers from IIT Hyderabad and School of Architecture, Bhubaneswar have developed bio-bricks from agricultural waste. The product serves dual purposes of development of eco-friendly sustainable material and also waste management.

The Process

  • The Bagasse from agricultural waste is chopped to desired size.
  • A lime-based slurry is prepared.
  • The chopped agro-waste is added to the slurry and mixed thoroughly using a mixer to form a homogenous mixture.
  • The mixture is then poured into the molds.
  • The molds are then rammed with wooden blocks to create compact bricks.
  • The bricks attain strength after a month of air drying.

Significance

  • The bricks are made from agro-waste like wheat straw, paddy straw, sugarcane bagasse and cotton plant.
  • Bio-bricks are more sustainable than clay bricks.
  • They also act as carbon sinks as they fix more carbon dioxide than they produce during their lifecycle.
  • The bricks also provide good insulation to heat and sound
  • They help in maintaining humidity of buildings and make the house more suitable for hot-humid climates.

The bricks will help in building climate change resilient homes. In India as 84 to 141 million tons of agricultural wastes are burnt causing severe air pollution, these steps help in reducing these incidents.