Technology News

IIT Kanpur develops Artificial Heart to deal with Acute Cardiac Problems

IIT Kanpur is ready with an artificial heart that would be of great help to people with acute cardiac problems. IIT Kanpur Director, Abhay Karandikar, said that the trial on animals would begin next year. “Artificial heart is being developed to reduce the sufferings of the patients,” he said, adding, “a team of 10 scientists and doctors has prepared this artificial heart. After the success of the trial on animals, heart transplantation in humans will begin within two years.”

He said, “India imports 80 per cent of equipment and implants from abroad. Only 20 percent of the equipment and implants are being manufactured in India. Most of the implants and stents for heart patients are being imported.”

He further said, “Covid-19 taught us some hard lessons. Before Covid, ventilators were not made in India. To save the lives of corona-infected, Indian scientists and doctors prepared ventilators in just 90 days. Two companies are manufacturing ventilators in India. Foreign ventilator costs Rs 10 to 12 lakh while Indian ventilator is being made for only Rs 2.5 lakh.”

He said, “There is a huge shortage of doctors and paramedical staff in India. There are only 8 doctors per 1000 population. This deficiency cannot be filled at once. However, the government is rapidly opening hospitals and medical colleges. Despite this, the crisis of doctor-staff will continue according to the population and geographical conditions. In such a situation, there is a need to connect the medical system with technology.”

Japan’s ispace launches world’s first commercial moon lander

A Japanese space startup launched a spacecraft to the moon after several delays, a step toward what would be a first for the nation and for a private company. ispace Inc’s HAKUTO-R mission took off without incident from Cape Canaveral, Florida, after two postponements caused by inspections of its SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The name HAKUTO refers to the white rabbit that lives on the moon in Japanese folklore, in contrast to the Western idea of a man in the moon. The project was a finalist in the Google Lunar XPRIZE before being revived as a commercial venture.

Next year is the Year of the Rabbit in the Asian calendar. The craft, assembled in Germany, is expected to land on the moon in late April.

The company hopes this will be the first of many deliveries of government and commercial payloads. The ispace craft aims to put a small NASA satellite into lunar orbit to search for water deposits before touching down in the Atlas Crater.

The M1 lander will deploy two robotic rovers, a two-wheeled, baseball-sized device from Japan’s JAXA space agency and the four-wheeled Rashid explorer made by the United Arab Emirates. It will also be carrying an experimental solid-state battery made by NGK Spark Plug Co.

Airtel partners with Meta to develop undersea cable infra for high-speed internet

Bharti Airtel has partnered with Facebook parent Meta to develop undersea cable infrastructure which will support high-speed internet in the country and boost data-carrying capacities between geographies. The two companies, along with Saudi Telecommunication Company, will bring the world’s longest subsea cable system 2Africa Pearls to India, at Airtel’s landing station in Mumbai.

Subsea cable infrastructure is essential to connect the world digitally as without this, data flows between countries over the internet will not be possible.

In 2020, Meta (then called Facebook) had announced investments in building internet infrastructure in Africa through the 2Africa subsea cable. The cable system was later extended to connect 33 countries across Africa, Europe, and Asia, under 2Africa Pearls.

“The 2Africa cable will significantly boost India’s cable capacity and empower global hyper-scalers (that operate data centres) and businesses to build new integrated solutions and provide a high-quality seamless experience to customers,” Airtel said in a release.

Airtel and Meta have also collaborated on Open RAN (radio access network) technologies. The company is conducting trials for 4G and 5G Open RAN solutions on select sites in Haryana and will start deploying the solutions commercially over the next few quarters.

Ladakh to soon have India’s first Dark Night Sky Reserve with 18 telescopes installed for stargazing

Ladakh is all set to have India’s first Dark Night Sky Reserve at Hanle village in Changthang region. In about eighteen locations in Hanley, powerful telescopes will be installed for stargazing.

Country’s prestigious Dark Nighty Sky Reserve in Changthang’s Hanley shall start soon.  Union Territory Ladakh administration has distributed eighteen telescopes to the trained youths of Hanley village.

At an elevation of 4,500 meters, Hanley is home for the second-highest optical telescope in the world, established in 2001 by Indian Institute of Astrophysics. On his maiden visit to Hanley, Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur was convinced with the unique potential lied for Astro tourism in the area.

Following a tripartite MoU between UT Administration, Leh Hill council and Indian Institute of Astrophysics in June this year, necessary approvals from Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Environment and Forests were issued for Dark sky sanctuary.

On the other hand, Leh Hill Council CEC Tashi Gyaltson and MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal have convinced the villagers about the economic development through Home stays and new avenues in tourism. LG Mr Mathur has kept establishment of Dark Sky Sanctuary on priority.

He already instructed the concerned authorities to get affiliation with International Dark Sky Association and Star Light Foundation for Hanley Dark Sky Sanctuary. Sanctuary opens up personalized experiences to Astro tourists, economic opportunities for youths through the Telescope operation and villagers from the home stays.

UT administration is also planning for mobile and static planetariums in the region. 24 youths from three hamlets of Hanley were provided with training by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics under the guidance of Engineering Chief Dorjey Angchuk.

Locations are identified for the installation of telescopes including one big telescope in Punguk village. Nyoma Councillor Ishey Spalzang thanked the Centre for sanctioning the Sanctury, UT and Hill council for speedy execution of works.

NASA’s Artemis 1 Orion capsule sets new flight record

NASA’s Artemis 1 Orion capsule has set a new space flight record for spacecraft designed to carry humans by travelling 401,798 kilometers from Earth. The record was previously held by Apollo 13 which logged the record on April 14, 1970 by travelling 400,171 kilometers.

Apollo 13 was not originally designed to travel that far and the craft was only supposed to complete a moon landing. The plan was quickly aborted when a mid-air explosion damaged the craft’s service module and the focus then shifted to bringing the crew safely back home.

The distance Apollo 13 managed to chart was because of an emergency plan to slingshot the craft using the Moon’s gravity and get it back to Earth as quickly as possible.

The Artemis 1 Orion capsule was also launched without any plan to break the record, it happened because NASA sent the capsule into distant retrograde orbit.

“Artemis 1 was designed to stress the systems of Orion and we settled on the distant retrograde orbit as a really good way to do that,” said NASA’s Jim Geffre, Orion’s spacecraft integration manager.

AgniKul Cosmos sets up India’s first private launchpad at Sriharikota spaceport

The country’s first private launchpad and mission control centre has been established within the ISRO campus at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota. The launchpad is designed and operated by Chennai-based space-tech startup AgniKul Cosmos.

The facility was inaugurated by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman and Secretary in the Department of Space, S Somanath, on November 25.

The chairman expressed pleasure over the establishment of the first private launchpad in the country and said “India can now travel to space from one more space platform”, an ISRO statement said.

AgniKul, incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT Madras), plans to guide and control its upcoming launches from this facility.

In its first launch, a two-stage launch vehicle, ‘Agnibaan’ is intended to carry a payload of up to 100 kilograms to around 700 km altitude, the statement said.

India to have ‘tilting trains’ by 2026 to help maintain speed on curves

The Indian Railways plans to introduce ‘tilting trains’ by 2026 with an aim to maintain higher speed on curvy stretches, railways officials said. According to the officials, 100 new units of the semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains are being manufactured using this technology.

Around 100 Vande Bharat trains will be equipped with this technology by 2024. These trains with sleeper coaches will be operational by the first quarter of 2024.

How does a tilting train work?
A tilting train is a train that has a mechanism enabling increased speed on regular rail tracks. As a train (or other vehicle) rounds a curve at speed, objects inside the train experience centrifugal force. This can cause packages to slide about or seated passengers to feel squashed by the outboard armrest, and standing passengers to lose their balance. Tilting trains are designed to counteract this by tilting the carriages towards the inside of the curve, thus compensating for the g-force. The train may be constructed such that inertial forces cause the tilting (passive tilt), or it may have a computer-controlled powered mechanism (active tilt).

ISRO launches PSLV-C54 rocket carrying earth observation satellite Oceansat & 8 nanosatellites

India’s PSLV C 54 was launched from Sathish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota on November 26. About the Earth observation satellite, ISRO Chairman S.Somnath said that specific data from the satellite will be used by the Government departments.

The director of the Space vehicle K.Thenmozhi said that the payloads are indigenous and will provide crucial Data including maritime security and detection of cyclones in potential zones

The payload includes an Ocean satellite to monitor sea surface. Ku Band Scatterometer is to take precise pictorial data to reveal weather and other information. ARGOS, a french payload will reinforce the existing fleet of Indo-French satellites working on weather surveillance that are already in orbit.

The Anand nanosatellite is a technology demonstrator for commercial applications for earth observation using a microsatellite in low earth orbit. It provides a Satellite Platform for experimentation to store-and-forward operations and performs scheduled and unscheduled uplinks to compatible ground stations in India and publishes wherever required by the users.

Amateur operators can utilize this facility to evaluate their uplink equipment. Astrocast, a 3u spacecraft is a technology demonstrator for the Internet of Things.

It enables asset tracking and monitoring anywhere, regardless of blind spots without cellular coverage. Opening 85% of the planet to connectivity, SatIoT unlocks the industrial IoT market. It keeps track of vehicles, pipelines, livestock, crops, or containers for the users.
The India-Bhutan SAT, jointly developed by India and Bhutan was launched into space by ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

India’s first privately built rocket, Vikram-S, launched by ISRO

India’s first privately built rocket – Vikram-suborbital (VKS)– was launched by the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) recently. The rocket – developed by Skyroot Aerospace – has been named after Vikram Sarabhai, hailed as the father of India’s space sector.

Dr Pawan Kumar Goenka, chairman, IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre), called it a “milestone” and “a new era” in the space history of India with a private player witnessing a successful launch. “This is a new beginning for the private players with this entry in the space sector,” he asserted.

This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had opened the space sector for participation by private players in June 2020. The government had called it a big reform amid the push for ‘Make-in-India’ scheme.

Hyderabad-based Skyroot, founded in 2018 and backed by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, was the first space startup to sign an agreement to use Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launch and test facilities after the government opened the door to private companies.

India’s first private rocket to be launched between November 12-16

India’s first privately developed rocket Vikram-S – is set for a launch in a sub-orbital mission with three payloads between November 12 and 16, Hyderabad-based space startup Skyroot Aerospace announced.

The maiden mission of Skyroot Aerospace, named ‘Prarambh’ (the beginning), will carry two Indian and one foreign customer payloads and is set for launch from Indian Space Research Organisation’s launchpad at Sriharikota.

Spacekidz, a Chennai-based aerospace startup, will fly ‘Fun-Sat’, a 2.5 kg payload developed by students from India, the US, Singapore and Indonesia on the sub-orbital flight on board Vikram-S.

With this mission, Skyroot is set to become the first private space company in India to launch a rocket into space, heralding a new era for the space sector which was opened up in 2020 to facilitate private sector participation.

Skyroot’s launch vehicles are named ‘Vikram’ as a tribute to the founder of the Indian space programme and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai.

Based in Hyderabad, Skyroot was the first startup to sign a memorandum of understanding with ISRO for launching its rockets. It aims to disrupt entry barriers to cost-efficient satellite launch services and space-flight by advancing its mission to make spaceflights affordable, reliable and regular for all, the statement said.