Defence Research and Development Organisation Current Affairs - 2019
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India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted maiden test of an indigenously developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) from launch pad number-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha Coast.
It is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft. It is designed to cruise at Mach 6 speed with scramjet engine.
Background: In 2008, DRDO stated that through HSTDV project idea was to demonstrate performance of a scram-jet engine at an altitude of 15 km to 20 km, is on. Thus under this project, DRDO developed a hypersonic vehicle that will be powered by a scram-jet engine.
Applications: HSTDV is dual-use technology thus with a scramjet engine, HSTDV can cruise at Mach 6 speed and can have multiple civilian applications. It can be used for launching satellites at low cost and can also be available for long-range cruise missiles of future.
Key Highlights of Test
Method: In test conducted, a missile mounted with technology demonstrator vehicle is launched and vehicle is released only after missile reaches a certain altitude and velocity.
Reason for launch: The launch of technology demonstrator vehicle was undertaken to prove a number of critical technologies for futuristic missions and to validate several technologies including HSTDV.
Analysis: The HSDTV was supposed to fire and fly on its own after being carried to an altitude of around 30-40 km by solid rocket motor of an Agni-I ballistic missile in test but after launch, Agni-I booster went into an uncontrolled mode and could not achieve desired altitude. Some technologies have been validated while some remained inconclusive of which data is being analysed.
Scram-jet system v/s Ram jet system
In scram-jet technology, fuel combustion takes place in a chamber in missile at supersonic speeds while in a ram jet system, the system collects air it needs from atmosphere during flight at subsonic speeds and propellants burn in combustion chamber.
Tags: Abdul Kalam Island • Agni-I ballistic missile • Defence Research and Development Organisation • DRDO • HSDTV • Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle • Missile Test • Odisha Coast • Ram jet system • Scram-jet system
Renowned scientist, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra is appointed as Director-General the India Meteorological Department (IMD). His appointment order was issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
About Mrutyunjay Mohapatra
- The 54-year-old cyclone warning specialist is Scientist ‘G’ (grade) in IMD. Prior to joining IMD, he worked at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory in Chandipur.
- He is appointed as chief of IMD and will assume charge of the post on or after 1 August 2019 for a period of five years.
- He leads the Cyclone Warning Division (CWD) of the IMD and is well known as ‘Cyclone Man‘ for his cyclone forecasts. In past six years, CWD has given accurate forecasts on cyclones such as Phailin (2013), Hudhud (2014) and Titli (2018) which hit the eastern coast.
- Focus Areas: He seeks to strengthen the IMD’s infrastructure and improve dissemination of weather-related information with focus on sector-related forecast and giving impact-based prediction in all areas. By sector-related forecasts, IMD intends to give predictions on specific areas like information for transport systems (like trains). At present IMD gives impact-based predictions only for cyclones.
About India Meteorological Department
- It is an agency of Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- It is responsible for meteorological observations, seismology and weather and climate related forecasts for the country.
- It is mandated to warn against severe weather phenomenon like cold and heat-waves, dust storms, cyclones, heavy rain and snow and others.
Tags: Cyclone Man • Cyclone Warning Division • Defence Research and Development Organisation • Director General of IMD • IMD • India Meteorological Department • Ministry of Personnel; Public Grievances and Pensions • Mrutyunjay Mohapatra • Union Ministry of Earth Sciences