Current Affairs – November, 2018

Latest Current Affairs November, 2018 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of November, 2018 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Scientists build and flow first-ever silent airplane with no moving propellers or jet turbines

Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US have built and flown first-ever silent airplane with no moving propellers or jet turbines. At present, every aircraft have moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades and fans, which are powered by the combustion of fossil fuels or by battery packs that produce a persistent, whining buzz.

Key Facts

MIT researchers have designed this lightweight plane weighing about five pounds with five-meter wingspan. It was flown at distance of 60 meters, a feat that was repeated 10 times. It was simplest possible plane design that could prove concept that ion plane could fly. It is first-ever plane having no moving parts in propulsion system.

This new light aircraft does not carry propellers or turbines and also not depends on fossil fuels to fly. It is inspired from movie and television series “Star Trek”. It is powered by ionic wind or electrodynamic thrust, a silent but mighty flow of ions that is produced aboard plane. It can generate enough thrust to propel plane over sustained, steady flight. Unlike propeller-driven planes, the new design is completely silent.

Significance

It has potentially opened new and unexplored possibilities for aircraft which are quieter, mechanically simpler and do not emit combustion emissions. In the near-term, such ion wind propulsion systems could be used to fly less noisy drones. Moreover, ion propulsion paired with more conventional combustion systems can create more fuel-efficient, hybrid passenger planes and other large aircrafts in future.

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Impact Based Forecasting Approach: IMD develops technology to assess rise of water level in rivers

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has developed new technology called ‘Impact Based Forecasting Approach’ to assess rise of water level in rivers and reservoirs by rain.  It shows pre-event scenario will help state governments authorities to minutely monitor impact of rainfall and take real-time decisions. It will help to avoid disastrous situation similar to Kerala floods. It can generate scenario to help take decisions to release water or not from reservoirs after heavy downpour. It will be helpful for every state authority to take decision. This system can be run in pre-event scenario.

Background

The heavy downpour which had ravaged Kerala in August 2018 had caused death of around 500 people and economic damages worth over Rs 40,000 crore. Excessive rainfall had led to floods in Kerala and was result of climate change. State Government had blamed IMD for lapses in its part for wrong rain forecast. IMD had forecasted estimated 98.5 mm rain in the state between 9 and 15 August, 2018 but Kerala received was 352.2 mm of rainfall resulting in severe flooding.

India Meteorological Department (IMD)

It is national meteorological service of the country and chief government agency dealing in everything related to meteorology, seismology and associated subjects. It was formed in 1875. It functions under Ministry of Earth Sciences. It is headquartered in New Delhi.

Mandate

  • Undertake meteorological observations and provide current information and forecasting information for most favorable operation of weather-dependent activities such as irrigation, agriculture, aviation, shipping etc.
  • Offer warning against severe weather phenomenon such as tropical cyclones, norwesters, dust storms, heat waves, cold waves, heavy rains, heavy snow, etc.
  • Provide met-related statistics needed for agriculture, industries, water resources management, oil exploration, and any other strategically important activities for the country.
  • Engage in research in meteorology and allied subjects.
  • Detect and locate earthquakes and evaluate of seismicity in various parts of the country for developmental projects.

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