Monday March 19, 2018
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Iter fusion power project: Scientists creating their own ‘Sun’ to tackle future energy problems


By NewsGram Staff Writer

In southern France, engineers and scientists are creating a “mini- star,” which can produce the same reactions that take place in the sun, to provide energy for the future.

This interesting project is named ‘Iter,’ which means ‘the way’ in Latin, to underline the possibilities of energy as a means to create a peaceful and safe environment.

As reported by The Independent, the ‘star’ will weigh thrice as much as the Eiffel Tower and as big as 60 football pitches. A nuclear reactor will be placed inside the building, which will generate power through smaller and controlled versions of nuclear fusions. The power thus generated will be clean, safe to use and will lessen the over-exploitation of fossil fuels.

In 1987, ‘Iter’ was first introduced to the world in its primary stage. However, the project was delayed due to various problems.

Currently, it is being supported by seven entities, including European Union, US, Russia and China.

The group working on this project has also appointed a new head, Bernard Bigot, early this year.

The website reported Bigot as stating, “We are now entering into manufacturing and preparations for assembly.”

He added that he had joined as a part of a new management team that was set up to deliver “both a research and an industrial facility.”

The team involved in the project is expecting that preliminary operations can begin by the 2020s, followed by the production of energy after some time.

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NASA’s instrument to measure Sun’s energy

For instance, spectral irradiance measurements of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation are critical to understanding the ozone layer -- Earth's natural sunscreen

NASA to release two missions focused on moon soon in 2022. Pixabay
NASA's new instrument can measure incoming solar energy. Pixabay
  • NASA’s new instrument can measure Sun’s incoming energy
  • The instrument is called Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1)
  • This can help bring in an energy revolution in future

To continue long-term measurements of the Sun’s incoming energy, NASA has powered on a new instrument installed on the International Space Station (ISS).

Solar energy is one of the biggest energy sources in the world.

The instrument, Total and Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1), became fully operational with all instruments collecting science data as of this March, NASA said.

“TSIS-1 extends a long data record that helps us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth’s radiation budget, ozone layer, atmospheric circulation, and ecosystems, and the effects that solar variability has on the Earth system and climate change,” said Dong Wu, TSIS-1 project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. TSIS-1 studies the total amount of light energy emitted by the Sun using the Total Irradiance Monitor, one of two sensors onboard.

Also Read: Why is the Sun’s atmosphere much hotter than its surface

This sensor’s data will give scientists a better understanding of Earth’s primary energy supply and provide information to help improve models simulating the planet’s climate.

The second onboard sensor, called the Spectral Irradiance Monitor, measures how the Sun’s energy is distributed over the ultraviolet, visible and infrared regions of light. Measuring the distribution of the Sun’s energy is important because each wavelength of light interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere differently.

Measuring solar energy is one big technological developement. Pixabay

For instance, spectral irradiance measurements of the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation are critical to understanding the ozone layer — Earth’s natural sunscreen that protects life from harmful radiation.

“All systems are operating within their expected ranges,” said Peter Pilewskie, TSIS-1 lead scientist at the University of Colorado Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in the US. IANS