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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY - November 2019

Nov 2019

Nov 30, 2019

BHEL To Produce And Sell ISRO's Li-ion Cells In India

  •  Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has confirmed that it is going to produce space-grade lithium ion cells for sale in the Indian market. In March 2018, BHEL has signed the technology transfer agreement with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) for acquiring the latter's Li-Ion cell production technology.
  • Accordingly, ISRO has transferred its indigenous technology to BHEL.
  • BHEL is now in the process of setting up the Li-Ion production facility near Bangalore in Karnataka. This production facility is primarily targeted at meeting Li-ion cell requirements for ISRO and other strategic sectors, which would also include automotive. 
  • BHEL can also produce and sell Li-ion cells for meeting other national / commercial applications by suitably modifying the space-grade cell which can lead to cost reduction.
  • Various equipment (both indigenous and imported) for setting up the new facility has been procured and is being commissioned.  ISRO has already provided all technical documentation for establishing the production plant as well as hands-on training in various production activities for BHEL staff at ISRO's facilities.
  • As per the technology transfer agreement, space-grade Li-ion cells manufactured by BHEL are meant for meeting India market requirements only. 

Govt May Set Up New Rocket Launch Pad Near Kulasekarapattinam In Tamil Nadu

  •  Government is planning to set up a new rocket launch pad in Tamil Nadu. Currently, the Indian Space Research organisation (Isro) has two launch pads at Sriharikotta, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The development comes on the backdrop of increasing launches from India, both for domestic and international customers.
  • Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha  said, "Government has proposal to set up rocket launching pad near Kulasekarapattinam in the state of Tamil Nadu".

Nov 29, 2019

Scientists Spot Black Hole

  • Astronomers discovered a black hole in the Milky Way so huge that it challenges existing models of how stars evolve.
  • LB-1 is 15,000 light years from Earth and has a mass 70 times greater than the sun.
  • The Milky Way is estimated to contain 100 million stellar black holes but LB-1 is twice as massive as anything scientists thought possible.
  • Scientists generally believe that there are two types of black holes.
  • The more common stellar black holes -- up to 20 times more massive than the sun -- form when the centre of a very big star collapses in on itself.
  • Supermassive black holes are at least a million times bigger than the sun and their origins are uncertain.

Nov 28, 2019

Researchers Develop Portable Device to Screen Cervical Cancer

  •  Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi in collaboration with Bengaluru-based Aindra Systems developed an artificial intelligence-powered point-of-care device to screen for cervical cancer by analysing microscopy images.
  • The research was undertaken by a team led by Anil Sao and Arnav Bhavsar, professors at IIT Mandi along with research scholars -Srishti Gautam and Krati Gupta. The team, along with the industry collaborators, developed AI-based algorithms that enable the device to undertake automatic screening for cervical cancer.
  • The difference between a conventional system and Aindra's point-of-care system is that, the latter is portable and can be taken to the potential patients. In the conventional system, the people have to visit the pathology laboratory to get themselves screened.

India's Cartosat-3 and 13 Nano Satellites Put in Orbit

  •  India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL) rocket carrying advanced earth observation satellite Cartosat-3 and 13 US nano satellites lifted off from the second launch pad.
  • CARTOSAT-3, which is the ninth in the series, was launched from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. This was the 74th launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota.
  • CARTOSAT-3 is the highest resolution civilian satellite. ISRO has 13 missions up to March 2020- 6 large vehicle missions and 7 satellite missions.
  • CARTOSAT-3 is a third-generation agile satellite with high-resolution imaging capabilities.
  • The satellite will replace the IRS series, according to Isro. The CARTOSAT-3 has a panchromatic resolution of 0.25 metres, which helps it conduct satellite imaging with the highest resolution. The space research organisation said this mission is a huge leap from the previous payloads in the CARTOSAT series.

Nov 27, 2019

Cartostat-3 is Most Advanced Satellite Developed in India

  •  Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K. Sivan termed Cartostat-3 the most complex and advanced satellite India has ever developed.
  • It is also the satellite with the highest-ever resolution that the ISRO has developed till date.
  • Mr. Sivan said that the 26-hour countdown for the launch of PSLV-C47, which will carry the Cartostat-3 as well as 13 other customer satellites, has brgun.
  • Cartostat-3 is mainly an earth observation satellite, which will provide various spatial, spectral and temporal data for various fields including urban planning, agriculture, water resource management, environment and disaster management.

Nov 26, 2019

Researchers Report First Recording of a Blue Whale's Heart Rate

  •  The largest heart on earth — a 400-pound blood-pumping machine — beats about 13 times a minute.
  • That's according to scientists' first recordings of the heart of a blue whale. The research team documented the rhythms thanks to a few suction cups that kept a heart rate monitor attached to a whale swimming and diving around California's Monterey Bay. 
  • This is the first heart rate recording of any wild large whale, and the biggest one to boot: Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth. And the recordings might hint at a biological limit for heart size in mammals. Based on their recordings, the researchers believe blue whales' hearts might be just about as big as they come.
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