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Indian Govt Clears $150 Million as Contribution for Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Program

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India is positioned to supervise the development of the software required to monitor and control the SKA telescopes. This software will issue all the commands necessary to execute astronomical observations – akin to the human body’s neural system. Indian software engineers will also help manage the overall development of SKA software. All this will be executed with significant contributions from and benefits to the software industry in India,” the SKA Observatory said last year.

Nearly 20 Indian institutes are part of an Indian SKA network that are actively involved with the programme. The telescopes will cover two different frequency ranges, and are named to reflect this. SKA-Mid, an array of 197 traditional dish antennas, is being built in South Africa while SKA-Low, an array of 131,072 smaller tree-like antennas, is being built in Western Australia. At both sites, construction began last year.

The arrays will both be spread across large distances, with the most distant antennas being separated by 150 km in South Africa, and 65 km in Australia. Taken together, the two sites will represent a massive field of antenna with a total signal collecting area of one square kilometre and hence, the name Square Kilometre Array.

 

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The all-Russian freight mainline electric locomotive 3ES8 "Malachite" from the Ural Lokomotiv company set off on its first voyage. The electric locomotive delivered a train of 77 cars weighing 7018 tons from the Vologda region to the Leningrad region. All main components of the 3ES8 electric locomotive, including the asynchronous traction drive, power equipment and intelligent control systems, were developed and manufactured in Russia. The carrying capacity of the Malachite electric locomotive is 42% higher than that of the previous generation locomotives. It can drive trains of cars weighing over 7 thousand tons and up to 1 km long in mountainous terrain, and up to 9 thousand tons on flat terrain. The 3ES8 Malachite electric locomotive will become the base platform for a line of promising Russian locomotives. The 3ES8 electric locomotive in its main characteristics is not only not inferior to the best world models, but also surpasses them in some parameters.
The electric locomotive 3ES8 "Malachite" is equipped with ATD1000 engines with a power of 1000 kW, the design speed of the electric locomotive is 120 km/h.

 

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The Russian Ka-226T transformable helicopter took off for the first time in Kolyma. One of the main advantages of the Ka-226T helicopter is its modular design. In 30 minutes, the helicopter can be converted into a passenger, cargo, ambulance, search and rescue and police version by replacing one module with another. The helicopter is resistant to side winds and has a high rate of climb; the coaxial design ensures compactness and high maneuverability. The helicopter continues to be improved; work is underway on a new modification of the Ka-226T helicopter, with the replacement of French Arrius 2G1 engines with more powerful Russian VK-650V engines. The cruising speed of the Ka-226T helicopter is 190 km/h, the rate of climb is 12.5 m/s, the flight altitude is up to 6100 meters, and the range is up to 475 km. Maximum take-off weight is 3600 kg, payload in the transport cabin is 785 kg. The helicopter can be operated by one to two pilots and can carry up to seven people.

 

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Russia has commissioned a new wintering complex at the Vostok station in Antarctica. The complex was built on the site of the legendary Vostok station in Antarctica, which was created in 1957, its deterioration reached 97%. This is the first modern building built at the Antarctic pole. Now polar explorers at the station are conducting important research - studying solar activity, studying cosmic phenomena and climate change. The new wintering complex consists of five blocks with an area of about 3 thousand square meters. It is designed to accommodate 15 people during the winter period and 35 people during the seasonal period. The construction of the Vostok complex was not an easy task. The Vostok complex, consisting of 133 modules, as well as fuel and equipment, began to be unloaded in Tala Bay near the Russian Progress station. From there the complex was moved to the Vostok station by sleigh-caterpillar trips. The transfer of modules and installation of the complex took two years; it began in January 2022 and ended in January 2024. The station stands on 36 supports 3 meters high, which will allow it to remain free of snow for many years.

 

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Footage of the production of Russian Alazan missiles designed to combat hail. The missiles are produced by the Cheboksary Production Association named after. IN AND. Chapaeva. The Alazan-8M and Alazan-9 missiles are currently being produced.
The Alazan-9 anti-hail missile differs from the previous Alazan-6 in improved performance, despite its smaller caliber - 60 mm instead of 82 mm - its effectiveness is not reduced. In the new generation Alazan-9 missiles, the performance of the silver iodide reagent is increased by 2.5-3 times, and the cost, due to the smaller caliber, is reduced. How does this rocket work? An anti-hail rocket with a solid propellant engine, equipped with an active smoke bomb and spraying an aerosol of silver iodide. On particles of silver iodide, crystallization nuclei are formed, on which hailstone nuclei are formed. After which they fall to the ground in the form of rain or small, harmless hail. The missiles are capable of hitting hail clouds at a distance of up to 10 kilometers and at altitudes of more than 8 kilometers and are equipped with a self-destruction system. The use of anti-hail missiles makes it possible to reduce crop losses from hail in the southern regions of Russia by 70-90%. Previously, missiles were used in combat operations in the Caucasus and Transnistria.

 

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Autonomous unmanned cleaning robots "Pixel" began to be used in cleaning several areas of Moscow on an ongoing basis. The Russian cleaning robot was developed by Avtonomika.” Pixel robots are equipped with lidar, radar, sensors and machine vision to move safely and can operate year-round in any weather. The robot is equipped with interchangeable attachments to perform various tasks, removing snow in winter, and mopping and sweeping paths in summer. When the robot encounters an obstacle in its path, it recognizes it and bypasses or allows the person to pass. Robots will not be able to replace wipers, but they will reduce their number. The robot's electric battery provides 16 hours of continuous operation and allows it to reach speeds of up to 10 km/h, and when cleaning up to 5 km/h. Having completed the task, the robot itself returns to the base. The developer plans to begin mass production of robots in 2024. After this, in Moscow it will be possible to “introduce unmanned vehicles into the city economy.”

 

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Moscow enthusiasts showed a prototype of the Tikhon unmanned control system, designed for converting cars into drones. At first glance, against the backdrop of modern developments, the design looks archaic, but the advantages of this complex are that it can quickly be equipped with any car, without altering its design. Currently, the Tikhon unmanned control system consists of a twelve-kilogram suitcase and a control panel, but the developers plan to reduce the weight to 6 kilograms. According to the developers, this complex can be quickly installed on any equipment, including military equipment, and turned into an unmanned vehicle. According to them, all components are made in Russia.

 

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A micro-accelerator for MeV electrons: TIFR Hyderabad researchers generate super-fast electrons with table-top laser systems​

Peer-Reviewed Publication
TATA INSTITUTE OF FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH​

In massive particle accelerators, sub-atomic particles (like electrons) are sped up to super-high speeds comparable to the speed of light towards a target surface. The collision of accelerated sub-atomic particles gives rise to unique interactions enabling scientists to obtain a deeper understanding of the fundamental properties of matter.

Conventionally, laser-based particle accelerators require expensive lasers (in the range of 1-20 million USD) and are contained in massive national facilities. A set-up as complex as this is able to accelerate electrons to megaelectronvolt (MeV) energies. But can a simpler laser costing only a tiny fraction of the presently used lasers, be used for designing comparable schemes of particle acceleration?

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Representative Image

In an exciting leap, scientists from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad (TIFRH) have designed an elegant solution to successfully generate MeV (106 eV) temperature electrons at a mere fraction (100 times smaller) of the laser intensity previously thought necessary. The technique implements two laser pulses; first to create tiny, controlled explosion in a microdroplet, followed by a second pulse to accelerate electrons to megaelectronvolt (MeV) energies. What's even more exciting is that they achieved this with a laser that's 100 times less than what was previously thought necessary, making it more accessible and versatile for future research! The implications of this discovery can be dramatic due to the ability to produce high-energy electron beams for applications that range from non-destructive testing, imaging, tomography and microscopy and can influence material science to biological sciences.

The set-up developed by TIFRH researchers uses a millijoule class laser, firing at a rate of 1000 pulses a second with ultrashort 25 fs pulses, and is used to dynamically chisel micro-droplets of 15 µm diameter. This dynamic target shaping involves two laser pulses working in tandem. The first pulse crafts a concave surface in the liquid drop, and the second pulse drives electrostatic plasma waves, propelling electrons to MeV energies.

Electrostatic waves are oscillations in plasma are much like the mechanical disturbances created in a water pond when you through a stone. Here the laser creates disturbances in the sea of electrons and generates an “electron tsunami” that breaks to give high energy electrons much like the splash of a wave in the sea coast. The process generates not one but two electron beams, each with distinct temperature components: 200 keV and 1 MeV. This innovation, produces directed electron beams beyond 4 MeV with a laser that fits on a tabletop, making it a game-changer for time-resolved, microscopic studies across diverse scientific fields.

 

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At the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant of Transmashholding, the first Russian hybrid electric locomotive EMKA2 was manufactured for customers. The EMKA2 electric locomotive is capable of operating from a contact network or from an on-board energy storage device. The EMKA2 electric locomotive is designed for operation in depots and passenger terminals of large stations, where for environmental reasons the use of diesel engines is undesirable. The EMKA2 electric locomotive can be recharged in two ways - from the contact network through a standard 3 kW pantograph, or from an external charger. The energy in the electric locomotive's storage unit is sufficient to propel a train weighing up to 2 thousand tons over a distance of up to 14 km. Without a train, an electric locomotive can travel up to 100 km. Using an electric locomotive instead of a shunting diesel locomotive allows you to save up to 70-80% of fuel and lubricants and reduce current operating costs by 40-60%. The operating speed of the electric locomotive is 90 km/h, weight is 92 tons.

 

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Russia has resumed its flight testing program for the new Il-114-300 passenger aircraft, which is expected to replace the An-24 on local airlines. The second experimental aircraft is a new version of the Il-114-300, assembled at the facilities of the Lukhovitsky Aviation Plant; the first aircraft was created on the basis of the Il-114-100 produced in Tashkent. The aircraft is designed for operation in normal and difficult climatic conditions. It can operate autonomously from relatively small airfields, both concrete and unpaved. Its maximum capacity is 68 passengers. The aircraft consists entirely of Russian components and is equipped with a TV7-117ST-01 engine, which has undergone a series of modifications. The engine has increased power during takeoff and is superior in technical characteristics to foreign analogues. The new AB112-114 propeller also has an increased thrust of 4 tons. Also, the new Il-114-300 has improved flight performance, increased the use of composite materials, installed a new digital flight navigation system, improved almost all the main systems, and special attention was paid to improving the ergonomics of the cockpit. The first flight of the Il-114-300 lasted 40 minutes, took place at altitudes of up to 900 meters and at speeds of up to 230 km/h.

 

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Laser deforestation was shown in Russia. Specialists from the Troitsk Institute of Innovation and Thermonuclear Research tested a mobile laser complex produced by Rosatom. The laser was used to cut down forests, mainly the tops of trees, to speed up the laying of power lines. Using a laser complex, it was possible to cut a tree trunk 200 mm thick in six minutes; by simulating a laser beam, this time can be halved. The laser installation has no analogues in Russia and is capable of cutting even metal structures whose thickness reaches 260 mm, at a distance of no more than 300 meters. Previously, a sunken ship located 50 meters from the shore was cut with a laser on Sakhalin. There are no technical details; the laser complex can be installed on an all-terrain vehicle or other vehicle.

 

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On April 11, the first Russian heavy launch vehicle Angara-A5 launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Amur region. The rocket is equipped with an Orion upper stage and carries a test payload. The Angara family of rockets should replace the Proton-M launch vehicles. The Proton rocket has been in operation since the mid-1960s. The Angara-A5 rocket is the first heavy rocket of this type, developed in Russia after the collapse of the USSR. "Angara-A5" is an environmentally friendly rocket, its fuel does not contain toxic elements, unlike the "Proton" rocket, it uses kerosene and an oxidizer - liquid oxygen. Now there are three modifications of the Angara rocket, details are on the screen. The Angara-A5V rocket will be capable of launching a payload weighing up to 37.5 tons into orbit. With the help of Angara-A5 rockets, it is planned to launch automatic spacecraft and modules of the promising Russian orbital station into low-Earth orbit.

 

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Boston Dynamics presented a new model of the Atlas robot, which it developed jointly with South Korean Hyundai. Now the robot is completely electric, and the hydraulics have been removed. Unlike the previous model of the Atlas robot, which was developed for 11 years and is now not assembled, the new robot has received more powerful drives and has also become more flexible. Now he doesn’t have to walk on two legs, he can fold into different positions. Some users were even frightened by this mobility. The new Atlas robot will be used in production automation; it is reported that the robot is already working at Hyundai factories.

 

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The Dagestan plant Concern KEMZ officially presented the new Russian twin-engine multi-purpose aircraft Alfa-KM. The aircraft is a significantly improved version of the MAI-411 aircraft; for example, due to the use of composites, the Alfa-KM aircraft turned out to be 250 kg lighter than its predecessor. The Russian aircraft - Alfa-KM, is an analogue of the European CS-23 and American FAR-23 aircraft, the demand for small aircraft is growing and its production is now especially relevant. The aircraft is intended for air transportation, air tourism, patrol and other uses in small aviation.
The aircraft is made from Russian components; it was previously reported that the Austrian Rotax 912S engine is used, but there is no data on what it is now. In case of engine failure, the aircraft has a parachute rescue system. Companies from Malaysia, India and Turkey already intend to purchase Dagestani aircraft. The maximum take-off weight of the aircraft is 1250 kg, but it is capable of carrying 4 people over a distance of up to 1500 km, with a cruising speed of up to 250 km/h, at a flight altitude of up to 3000 meters.

 

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New Volga S40, K30 and K40 cars are shown in Russia. At an exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin was shown new cars of the revived Volga brand. Reportedly, they plan to produce three car models: Volga C40 - class D sedan, Volga K30 - class C crossover, Volga K40 - class D crossover. There is no official information yet about the partner who is helping with the revival of the Soviet car brand. The likely donor for Russian cars is the Chinese cars Changan Raeton Plus, Changan Oshan X5 Plus and Changan Uni-Z. It is worth noting that the design of Chinese cars in recent years has become even better than European ones. All three cars use a gasoline engine with a power of 188 horsepower and a torque of 300 Nm. Presumably a seven-speed automatic transmission and a 1.5 liter engine. The cars are equipped with intelligent driver assistance systems, and Russian services are integrated into the multimedia system. Production of the machines will begin in 2024, and from 2025 - in full cycle mode.

 

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