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April 3rd 2017 Science and Technology Current Affairs

First ever nuclear Powered Civilian Submarine is Being Designed in Russia

  • The Arctic region is considered as a major source of natural wealth such as hydrocarbons, fresh water, minerals, and fish.
  • However, to reach the area on a vessel icebreaker fleet is needed to escort these vessels.
  • The ice breaker fleet will break the ice in the path covering the ocean creating a way to the vessels.
  • Russian scientists are developing civilian nuclear powered submarine which is first of its kind.
  • This submarine is intendedto conduct asearch for natural resources and seismological surveys under ice in the Arctic.
  • This nuclear powered submarine will be equipped with autonomous unmanned submersibles, robotic complexes, etc., which will secure seismic reconnaissance as well.
    These typeof submarine is not yet developed and is first in the world.
  • This type of unique technological solutionswill allow the next generation to take up highly complicated tasks on anexploration of the shelf.
  • The Length of this vessel will be up to 5m, with a width of about width – 14.4m.
  • It can travel at the speed of 6 knots and can reach a maximum depth of 400m. The important feature of this submarine is that it will be able to operate autonomously for about 90 days.
  • It can accommodate a crew of 40 people.

Germany Launched Cyber Command

  • Germany launched a “self-contained” cyber command unit which can shield IT and weapons systems from attacks
  • Germany is the first NATO countryto launch cyber command.
  • Bundeswehr’s Cyber and Information Space (CIR) was given equal status to that of navy, army, and air force.
  • This system will protect the military systems in the country from mounting online attacks.

Harvard researchers developed Bionic Leaf which can ‘Bottle the Sunlight.’

  • Researchers from Harvard University created a bionic leaf which can produce fertilizer.
  • Large scale application of this technology can give a major boost to the agricultural yields in the developing countries.
  • This leaf can produce the fertilizer directly in the farm soil which allows the farmers to make their own fertilizer on-site that can boost crop yields.
  • This invention can be used to fight global hunger,especially in highly underdeveloped countries as thepopulation will expand in these places over the coming decades.
  • The researchers have grown radishes that are 50 percent larger than the control crops that are raised without fertilizer.
  • This new invention is built on the previous inventione., an artificial leaf which breaks water into oxygen and hydrogen by using sunlight.
  • The artificial leaf was invented six years ago.
  • After splitting oxygen from hydrogen, in this new invention which deploys some special bacteria that combines with carbon dioxide from the environment with the liberate hydrogen to create a bioplastic.
  • These bacteriastore the produced bio-plastic as its fuel internally.
    this bio-plastic, when placed in soil, pulls the nitrogen from the surrounding environment to make ammonia.
  • This ammonia acts as a fertilizing agent.
  • The production of ammonia artificially required industrial setup which the poor countries can’t afford.
  • Hence this invention will help the population of developing and underdevelopedcountries to overcome the hungermenace.

Graphene Filter that can Make Seawater Safe to Drink Developed

  • From many years, scientists are working on developing a scaling process to replace the conventional desalination plants which are used to remove the salt from seawater
  • Recently, Scientists developed a graphene “sieve” that can be used to remove salt from the seawater.
  • Researcher hoped this development could improve the efficiency of desalination plants.
  • They are also planning to develop this wonder material on acommercial
  • Graphene forms a regular lattice structure, and the size of the pores in the lattice will be similar to the water molecule diameter.
  • So, researchers tried to use the graphene oxide as a water filter.
  • But, this material will swell on contact with water altering the size of the pores.
  • But the British scientists have managed to stop this swelling which keeps the holes or pores in the lattice structure small enough to stop the salt molecules and big enough to allow the water through.

Tree Trunks Will Emit Methane -a Study

  • Recent studies by American scientists have revealed that the Tree trunks in upland forests emit methane instead of storing.
  • Thus, tree trunks have become a new unaccounted source of the greenhouse gas emitters.
  • Researchers from University of Delaware (UD) have found that the upland forest soils will take up and store the methane.
  • However, this effect is counteracted by the methane emissions from tree trunks.
    They measured fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane tested from a sample containing acluster of trees, soil and coarse woody debris (dead wood lying on the forest floor which are in various stages of decomposition).
  • Their studies confirmed that the tree trunks are emitting adetectable amount of methane and carbon dioxide while the soil with woody debris is absorbing the greenhouse gasses.
  • Scientists assumed that the methane emitted by the tree trunks might be transported from the soil into the stem or produced by fungi or Archean or other microbes living in the stem.

Kolkata First City in South East Asia to Use Bio-gas Bus

Kolkata has become the first city in India and South east Asia to launch bio-gas based bus in the city. The city based firm has launched the bus, the service is open to all with a fare of just Rs. 1. All the old buses in the city could be converted to bio gas based engines, the cheap mode of fuel will not emit harmful pollutants. The firm at the stage to seek approval from the government for expanding the service.

1) Phoenix India’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative introduced the service in the city between Ultadanga and Garia in the southern fringes of Kolkata, the maximum distance is 17 kilometers.

2) CNG gas is being used in Delhi, but it has some limitations which cannot go longer due to fuel tank constraints. The bio-gas based buses can run up to 6 kilometers with one kg of gas.

3) The firm said that these buses are approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO).

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)Ties up with Alpha Design Technologies

  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has tied up with the private firm to make new products that can serve armed forces largely.
  • The deal with the firm enables ISRO to create full navigation satellite in India. The collaboration aims to bridge gap created in the ISRO and speed up satellite fabrication.

About the Deal in Detail:

  • ISRO has tied up with Alpha Design Technologies which is leading the consortium, to render twosatellites for navigation system.
  • ISRO is planning for a new space mission, after its 150 space missions and three decades of space faring.
  • ISRO requires two satellites on immediate basis on safe side, it already had seven satellites in the orbit, its Navigation with Indian Constellation and Swadeshi GPS technologyis fully functional in the space.
  • The deal is Rs.400 crore, it is India’s one of the large private satellite deal.
  • India is making the industry a multi-billion-dollar industry, it surprised the world by launching 104 satellites in a single mission. This achievement is creating more opportunities for the world and many countries are coming forward to have deal with India.
  • By allowing private sector to create satellites, Indian Government is planning to create a robust industry for space. ISRO had designed satellite for European countries and soon India could be the global hub for the space products.

Central Government Announces BS-IV Guidelines for Vehicles

  • The Central Government has formally launched Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) grade transportation fuel across the country to keep carbon emission in check.
  • This is the outcome of Supreme Court’s historical verdict on banning and registration of BS-III vehicles from 1 April 2017.
  • It sets a target of ushering in BS-VI fuel by April 2020 by skipping BS-V fuel.  All the Oil marketing companies will have to provide fuel compliant with the BS-IV-compliant fuel at their 53,500 retail fuel stations across the country.
  • BS-IV fuels BS-IV fuels contain far less sulphur than BS-III fuel.
  • The BS-IV complaint vehicles release less pollutcomplants Carbon Mono-oxide (CO), Hydrocarbon (HC), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), Sulphur (SOx) and particulate matter (PM) compared to BS III compliant vehicles.
  • Sulphur in fuel makes it dirtier and lowers the efficiency of catalytic converters, which control emissions.
  • About Bharat stage emission standards
  • BS emission standards are emission standards instituted by the Union Government to contain the output of air pollutants from spark ignition engines equipment and internal combustion engines, including motor vehicles.
  • The rules and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change (MoEFCC).
  • The standards, based on European regulations were first introduced in 2000. Since then, various stages Bharat Stage compatible fuel and upgraded and modified vehicles were introduced throughout the country.
  • Each stage specifies an absolute limit on the pollutants released; Higher the Bharat Stage goes lesser it emits pollutants. BS-I, BS-II and BS-III stages was launched in 2000, 2005 and 2010 respectively.
  • The harmful emissions that are identified for regulations in different Bharat Stages (BS) are carbon monoxide (CO), unburnt Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons (HC), and Particulate Matter (PM).

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