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ISRO milestone mission to become a reality

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Chennai:  Indian rocket carrying seven satellites, including the country’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory – ASTROSAT, is put on the 50-hour countdown for its launch on September 28.

ISRO-plans-to-launch-navigation-satellite-on-March-28-550x300

India has so far launched 45 foreign satellites for a fee. India will cross the half-century milestone on Monday once it successfully injects the six foreign satellites into their intended orbit.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Saturday countdown for the launch of the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) began as scheduled at 8:00 AM.

The rocket with seven satellites will blast off on Monday at 10:00 AM from the first launch pad of the rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

In 2008, ISRO had launched 10 satellites in one go including India’s Cartosate-2A satellite. Now, ISRO will be launching seven satellites for the third time in its history.

The 44.4 metre tall 320 tonne PSLV-XL version is a four-stage rocket with six strap-on motors for additional thrust during the initial phase of the flight. The first and third stages are powered by solid fuel while the second and fourth stages are powered by liquid fuel which will be filled during the countdown. Apart from fuelling up the engines, all the systems would be checked and rechecked during the countdown.

On Thursday ISRO’s Mission Readiness Review (MRR) committee and Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) cleared the 50-hour countdown.

On Monday morning the rocket will launch India’s ASTROSAT weighing 1,513 kg, apart from four from the US and one each from Indonesia and Canada.

The PSLV will carry a total payload of 1,631 kg during this mission. Just over 22 minutes into the flight, the rocket will eject ASTROSAT at an altitude of 650 kms above the earth. Soon after, six other satellites will be put into orbit and the whole mission will come to an end in just over 25 minutes.

ASTROSAT, with a life span of five years, will observe the universe through optical, ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray components of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas most other scientific satellites are capable of observing through a narrow wavelength band, the agency said.

The Indonesian 76 kg LAPAN-A2 is a micro-satellite from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, meant for providing maritime surveillance using automatic identification system (AIS), supporting Indonesian radio amateur communities for disaster mitigation and carrying out earth surveillance using video and digital camera.

The 14-kg NLS-14 (Ev9) of Space Flight Laboratory, University of Toronto Institute for Advanced Studies, is also a maritime monitoring Canadian nano satellite using the next generation AIS.

The remaining four LEMUR nano satellites from Spire Global Inc, San Francisco, US, are non-visual remote sensing satellites, focusing primarily on global maritime intelligence through vessel tracking via AIS and high fidelity weather forecasting using GPS radio occultation technology, the ISRO said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Quantum Technology is The New Limit of Indian Scientists

The scheme, DST says, "promises to revolutionise the future computation and communication systems which will ultimately have huge impact on the nation and our society as a whole".

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Thanks to government funding, Indian physicists are preparing for a deep dive into the quantum world that holds the secrets for developing exciting technologies for computing, communication, cryptography and many more.
Quantum-Representational Image,

Thanks to government funding, Indian physicists are preparing for a deep dive into the quantum world that holds the secrets for developing exciting technologies for computing, communication, cryptography and many more.

Schemes for making India a major player in quantum technologies were deliberated during a five-day international conference on “Quantum Frontiers and Fundamentals” at the Raman Research Institute (RRI) here.

Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, the philanthropic organisation in the US, it was attended by eminent physicists from India and abroad, including several research students from India with a total number of around 100 participants, reflecting the significant growth in the research community in this area in our country.

“This is an interesting conference, blending quantum fundamentals aspects with applications, and is unique in its mandate as we have tried to provide equal emphasis to both theoretical research and experimental quantum technologies,” Urbasi Sinha, of RRI and organiser of the conference, told this correspondent. Dipankar Home of the Bose Institute, Kolkata, and Alexandre Matzkin of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris were the co-organisers.

Quantum physics is a basic theory in physics that deals with the behaviour of matter and light on the atomic and subatomic scale. Quantum technology exploits the weird properties of quantum mechanics — especially quantum entanglement, quantum superposition and quantum tunnelling — into practical applications for computing, cryptography and “secure” communication. Quantum computers that process “quantum data” (instead of binary data) are predicted to be faster than today’s largest classical computer.

Research in these areas at Indian laboratories has received a boost with promised funding support from the government’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), as well as small individual projects from the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Prime Minister’s Office.

The DST’s Mission-Mode scheme, called “Quantum Science and Technology (QuST)”, will fund research “for the development and demonstration” of quantum computers, quantum communication and cryptography, besides “demonstration of quantum teleportation”.

The scheme, DST says, “promises to revolutionise the future computation and communication systems which will ultimately have huge impact on the nation and our society as a whole”.

The DST initiative has received overwhelming response and “has already received 128 proposals from researchers from different parts of the country,” Rajeev Sharma, a spokesperson for the scheme at DST, told this correspondent. “Funding is no problem,” he said.

ISRO, in collaboration with RRI, has initiated a mega project called “Quantum Experiments Using Satellite Technology (QUEST)”. Sinha, along with members of her “Quantum Information and Computing Lab” and theory colleagues at RRI, will play a key role in developing these technologies in the coming years, with support from ISRO.

Schemes for making India a major player in quantum technologies were deliberated during a five-day international conference on "Quantum Frontiers and Fundamentals" at the Raman Research Institute (RRI) here.
Quatum Tech to get a boost in India, Pixabay

“Once RRI is ready with an experimental payload, we will launch it on board one of our satellite missions,” M. Sankaran, deputy director of ISRO Satellite Centre in Bengaluru and one of the conference participants, told this correspondent.

According to Sinha, one of her first experiments “will be a collaborative effort with the ‘Quantum Photonics Lab’ at Ontario’s University of Waterloo” that will aim to establish “a secure Quantum Key Distribution link” between India and Canada.

“It is good that both DST and ISRO have decided to fund research in this important area,” said Arun Kumar Pati, a leading researcher in quantum physics at the Harish Chandra Research Institute in Allahabad and a conference participant. “We are 10 years behind and have to catch up.”

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Using its world’s first quantum satellite called “Micius”, China had already demonstrated transmission of images from the country to Austria and researchers at the National University of Singapore had built a nano-satellite with a quantum communication payload. Scientists of the University of Waterloo have also demonstrated the first quantum key distribution transmissions from a ground transmitter to a quantum payload on a moving aircraft.

The conference suggested the formation in India of a society for quantum information scientists. It also called for greater thrust to experimental research and an increase in the pool of researchers in the area of quantum technologies. (IANS)