ESA Launches World’s First Commercial Fully Re-Programmable Satellite

ESA Launches World's First Commercial Fully Re-Programmable Satellite

Recently, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the world’s first commercial fully re-programmable satellite. Read the story to know more.

Crux of the Matter

In News
The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched the Eutelsat Quantum, the world’s first commercial fully re-programmable satellite.

It took off from French Guiana on board an Ariane 5 rocket and was placed in orbit some 36 minutes later. It was manufactured in collaboration with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus.

Eutelsat Quantum is based on a software that will allow to change the communications needs in real-time, unlike conventional models that are designed and “hard-wired” on Earth and cannot be changed in orbit.

When a satellite is launched, demand and markets can change over time. A satellite that is not ‘fixed’ and can adapt to customers gives us better prospects.

Elodie Viau, Agency’s Telecommunications and Applications Director

Curiopedia
  • The first satellite launched by NASA was Pioneer 1. The satellite was launched on October 10,1958. 

Here’s What’s New In Tech At Tokyo Olympics

Here’s What’s New In Tech At Tokyo Olympics

Since the first 1896 Summer Olympics, the international games have come a long way. Even with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, organizers have kept the audiences cheering at home with these latest tech innovations for broadcasting.

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AI For Player Detection
An Automatic Media Description (AMD) pilot project based on athlete recognition will help in creating summaries of selected events.
Broadcasters usually search for content of their national players via hundreds of clips, which is a tedious task. Trained AI systems, can accomplish this in a fraction of this time.

UHD Viewing Experience
OBS (the Olympic Broadcasting Services) has adopted a new production standard UHD HDR. This will give viewers a better experience of the ongoing games, while sitting at home.

Utilizing 5G
5G tech has the capacity of handling large volumes of data including ultra low latency (the delay before a transfer of data begins) and higher video quality.

Content In More Formats
Additional Multi Clip Feeds (MCFs), fast-turnaround sports highlights, and mobile-generated clips for the viewers.

Event Specific Innovations

  • 3D Athlete Tracking in Athletics 100m.
  • True View in Basketball.
  • Biometric data in Archery.
  • Virtual 3D graphics in Sport Climbing.

Lesser Carbon Footprints
OBS has also made an efficient design of the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), by introducing mini data centres called Centralized Technical Areas.

Curiopedia
  • The six colours in the Olympic symbol represent the colour of every nation’s flag. The six colours- blue, yellow, red, green, black and white were selected to represent the symbol because every country has at least one colour out of these six in their flags.

Knowing Father Of Chemical Science In India, Prafulla Chandra Ray

Knowing Father Of Chemical Science In India, Prafulla Chandra Ray

Wondering how Prafulla Chandra Ray became the father of Chemical Science in India? On his birthday today (2nd August), let’s know more about the scientific contributions of this eminent chemist, who was also the founder of India’s first pharmaceutical company.

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Acharya Prafulla 
Born in Bengal Presidency of British India in 1861, he went on to become the founder of Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, India’s first pharmaceutical company.

Literary Works
In 1902, he published the first volume of A History of Hindu Chemistry from the Earliest Times to the Middle of Sixteenth Century. The book contained research done in works of orientalists and ancient manuscripts.

Some Major Recognitions

Research Work
He conducted research on platinum, iridium and sulphides of organic substances and published over a hundred papers on Chemistry, many of which were published in the Journal of Indian Chemical Society.

Discovery Of Mercurous Nitrite
In 1896, Prafulla published a paper on preparation of a new stable chemical compound: mercurous nitrite, which is used in mercuration.

He also proved that the pure ammonium nitrite is stable. This compound is useful as an agricultural pesticide and in making nitrous oxide. 

Presence in Academia

  • Prafulla Chandra retired from the Presidency College in 1916.
  • He started a new Indian School of Chemistry in 1924.
  • He joined the Calcutta University College of Science as its first “Palit Professor of Chemistry”.
  • In 1936, at the age of 75, he retired from active service and became Professor Emeritus.

His Philanthropic Side
In 1923, Bengal suffered a flood which made many people homeless. Prafulla organised Bengal Relief Committee, which collected ₹2.5+ million as relief fund. In 1922, he donated money to establish the Nagarjuna Prize to be awarded for the best work in chemistry.

Curiopedia
  • Dr C V Raman was the first Asian to be awarded a Nobel Prize in any branch of science. In 1930, Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of an unknown type of scattering of light which was subsequently called Raman scattering.

Einstein Was Right! Light Detected Behind Black Hole

Einstein Was Right! Light Detected Behind Black Hole

Fulfilling one of the predictions made by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, researchers detected the first-ever recordings of X-ray emissions from behind a black hole. If light that goes into the hole doesn’t come out, how is this possible? Let’s find out.

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What Did The Researchers See?
Stanford’s Dan Wilkins recently observed a series of bright flares of X-rays and additional flashes of smaller sized and different coloured rays, from behind a supermassive black hole.

How Can We See Behind The Hole?

‘Relativity: The Special and General Theory’
Einstein talks about general relativity in this book, stating that a massive object can warp space-time around it, creating gravity. General relativity has been proven most famously during a solar eclipse in 1919, when astronomer Arthur Eddington confirmed that the Sun’s gravity bent the light from stars.

Gravitational Lensing At Its Extreme
Astronomers have ever since used the gravity of distant galaxies to see around them, and observe even more distant objects. This phenomenon is called Gravitational Lensing.

It’s not just light being reflected a little bit. It’s coming from all the way behind the black hole, being bent all the way around into our line of sigh

Dan Wilkins, Stanford

What’s More?
Most objects in space are too distant to photographed. However, as per Wilkins, measurements of X-ray echoes can be used as a sonar “to reconstruct that picture, of that map, of the extreme environment outside a black hole.”

New X-ray telescopes, like ESA’s Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics (ATHENA) slated for a 2031 release, can help in the image reconstruction of space objects.

Curiopedia
  • In 1984, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to go to Space. He flew aboard the Soyuz T-11 with the Soviet Interkosmos programme.

Dholavira: From Indus Valley To World Heritage Site

Dholavira: From Indus Valley To World Heritage Site

Earlier this week, UNESCO gave the tag of being a World Heritage Site to Gujarat’s Dholavira. Locally known as Kotada Timba, let’s see how it was one of the most prominent sites of the Indus Valley civilizations.

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Indus Valley Civilization
1400 sites have been discovered till date from the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), out of which 925 are in India, 475 are in Pakistan, and some are in Afghanistan.

Dholavira Or Kotada Timba
One of the 5 largest IVC sites, it is located in the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary in the Great Rann of Kutch. The site was occupied from 3500 BCE to 1800 BCE.

The Signboard
Found at the northern gate of Dholavira, this inscription is one of the longest in the Indus script. The inhabitants spoke an unknown language and their script has not yet been deciphered.

The Script
It is estimated to have had 400 basic signs, which stood both for words and for syllables. The direction of the writing was from right to left. There were several specific seal impressions used in trade and official administrative work.

The Trade Hub
Archaeologists state that Dholavira was an integral centre of trade between settlements in South Gujarat, Sindh and Punjab and Western Asia.

Advanced Reservoirs
Their water conservation system of channels and reservoirs was the earliest found in the world. They were used for storing rainwater and water diverted from two nearby rivulets.

Intriguing Architecture
The city was constructed to a pre-existing geometrical plan consisting of 3 divisions – citadel, middle town, and lower town. They had their own defence-work, gateways, built-up areas, street system, and open spaces.

Hemispherical Structures
Having a circular plan, these were big hemispherical elevated mud brick constructions. 7 such structures were found, which contained burial goods of pottery.

Curiopedia
  • By 2002, 1,000+ mature Harappan cities and settlements had been reported, of which just under a 100 had been excavated. However, there are only five major urban sites: Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Dholavira, Ganeriwala, and Rakhigarhi.