Science and Technological Developments in the Major Areas
India was among the first few nations which realized the potential of space technology. It felt that space technology can be utilized for solving the basic problems of mankind and society. Dr.Vikram Sarabhai, a scientific visionary, who was the founder of Indian Space Programme, realized the necessity of space technology in India after the launch of first artificial satellite SPUTNICK-1 in Soviet Union on October 4th 1957. India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who already realized that Science and Technology development was the essential part of India’s future, placed space research under the jurisdiction of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in 1961.
The DAE director Homi Bhabha, who was the founder father of India’s Atomic Energy programme, then established Indian National Committee for Space Research with Dr. Sarabhai as chairman in 1962. Later India’s Space Programme was expanded and on 15th August 1969, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was created. ISRO is the primary body for the space research under the control of the Government of India and one of the leading Space research organizations in the world. For the past four decades, ISRO has launched more than 50 satellites for various Scientific and Technological applications like mobile Communication, meteorology observations, Tele-medicine, Tele-education, disaster warming, Radio networking, Space and research Operations, remote sensing and scientific studies of the space.
However in 1960’s Dr. Sarabhai made a study with NASA regarding the feasibility of using satellites for applications as wide as direct television broadcasting. This study helped us to notice that it was the most economical way of transmitting such broadcasts.
The India Space Research Programmes were developed for improving the socio-economic conditions. The space research is helpful for
Natural Resources Management
Study of agricultural potential
Weather monitoring and
Objectives of space programs:
The main objectives of Space programmes are:
Satellite based resource survey
Development of indigenous satellite launch vehicles
The S&T projects of the Department of Space (DOS) fall under the following categories:
National Mission/ Mission-mode projects
Projects of DOS
DOS sponsored projects in Universities and other institutions.
Space Programmes during the 9th and 10th Plan:
The major thrust of the space programme during the 9th Plan was toward strengthening the space-based services for the country’s socio-economic development.
The activities in the earth observations systems were oriented towards building state-of-art satellite systems for applications related to management by land and ocean resources.
In the area of satellite communication and meteorology, the efforts were directed towards augmenting the INSAT system with additional capacity nad newer services though the development and launch of third generation INSAT satellites, based on demand voiced by the users.
Besides, significant progress was made in the participation of industry, policy initiatives, international operation, commercialization of space capabilities and human resource development.
The thrust of the 10th Plan was on the development of Space technology and large applications of this technology for economic development.
The major goals set by the Department of Science for the 10th Plan are:
To acquire new capabilities for space communication by positioning Indian satellite systems- GRAMSAT and INSAT net-works for operational service.
To position earth observation infrastructure.
Improved weather and ocean state forecasting.
To encourage space service research.
The Indian space programme has its genesis in the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) that was formed by the Department of Atomic Energy in 1962.
The first rocket was launched from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in 1963.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was formed under the Department of Atomic Energy in August 1969.
The Department of Space (DOS) was formed in 1972 to formulate and implement space policies in the country.
The Department of Space (DOS) is the nodal agency for co-ordinating R&D activities in space science and technology.
The executive wing of the space communism is the Department of Space operates through the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Bangalore; National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad; National Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere Radar Facility (NMRF), North Eastern-Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC) , besides sponsoring research projects in other institutions.
Space Centers and Units:
Research and Development activities under the space programme are carried out in the various centers/units of ISRO/DOS. Some of the centres are:
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC): This is located at Thumba in Thiruvananthapuram. VSSC is the largest ISRO Centre. It provides the technology base for the country’s indigenous satellite launch vehicle development.
ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC):This is located at Bangalore. This Centre is responsible for design, fabrication, testing, and management of satellite systems for scientific, technological and application mission. Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, APPLE and IRS 1A were built here.
SHAR Centre: This is located in Sriharikota island on the east coast of AP. It is the main launch base for satellite launch vehicles and rockets.
Space Applications Centre: This is located at Ahmedabad. The activities include satellite based telecommunication and television, remote sensing for natural resources survey and management, environmental monitoring and meterology.
National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA): This is located at Hyderabad. The center has facilities for surveying, identifying, classifying and monitoring earth resources using aerial and satellite data.
National Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere Radar Facility: This center is located near Tirupati in AP. The Center conducts atmosphere research.
Goals and Objectives of ISRO:
The Prime objective of ISRO is to develop space technology and its applications to various national tasks. Dr.Sarabhai, the father of Indian Space Programmes says that:
‘There are some who questions the relevance of space activities in the developing nation. To us there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space flight. But we are conceived that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the applications of advanced technologies to the real problem of man and society’.
As also pointed out by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam:
Many individuals with myopic vision questioned the relevance of space activities in a newly independent nation, which was finding it difficult to feed its population. Their vision was clear if Indians were to play meaningful role in the community of nations, they must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to their real life problems. They had no intension of using it as a mean to display our might.
India’s economic progress has made its space programs more visible and active as the country aims for greater self-reliance in space technology. India Space Research Organisation(ISRO) has successfully operationalised two major satellite systems namelyIndian National Satellites(INSAT) for communication services and Indian remote sensing satellites(IRS) for management of natural resources. ISRO designed for Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launching IRS type of Satellites and Geo-Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for launching INSAT type of satellites.
The economic and political condition in 1960’s and 1970’s compelled India to initiate its own Launch Vehicle Program. The first satellite launch vehicle (SLV-3) was developed in 1980, and a more advanced Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) was successful launched in 1992. ISRO further applied its research program towards the advancements of Launch Vehicle Technology resulting in creation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geo-Synchronus Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) technologies.
Mean while India began developing satellite technology auticipating the remote sensing and communications needs of the future. In April 1975, India’s first satellite Aryabhatta was launched from Kapustin YAR using Soviet Cosmos.
A geo-stationary satellite is any satellite which is placed in a geo-stationary orbit. The geo-stationary satellites are located exactly above the earth’s equator and revolve around the circular orbit. It’s revolving speed and direction (west to east) is exactly same as that of the earth which makes it look stationary from the earth’s surface. The exact attitude of these satellites above the equator is approximately 36,000kilometers (22369 MILES). The phrase Geo-Stationary evolves from the fact that this kind of a satellite looks practically stationary in the sky as observed by a person on the earth’s surface.
The concept was first proposed by “Herman Potocnick” in 1928, and popularized in 1945 by the Science fiction writer “Aurthur C. Clarke” in his article “Wireless World”. Clarke is credited with the proposing nation of using a geo-stationary orbit for communication satellite. Later in the Honour of Clarke, the orbital path of geo-stationary satellites is called “clarke Belt”.
A Geo-Stationary satellite can be contacted via directional antenna, typically an antenna dish targeted at the location in the sky where satellite seems to float. These dish antennas can be fixed at one place and are much less expensive than tracking antennas. One Geo-Stationary satellite can cover approximately 40% of the earth’s surface area. Three such Geo-Stationary satellites can cover the complete earth’s surface area, with the omission of little surface area situated at north and south geographic poles. The life expectancy of a geo-stationary satellite is ten to fifteen years.
The first geo-Stationary satellite was syncom 3, launched on August 19th 1964 with a Delta D launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral. The satellite as used to telecast the 1964 summer Olympics in Tokyo to the United States. It was the first television programme to cross the Pacific Ocean.
The latest Indian Geo-Stationary satellite, INSAT-2B positioned at 93-50E provide useful coverage in Asia. Currently meteostat 5 is also stationed over the Indian Ocean.
Use of highly directional dish antennas can reduce signal intervention from earth based sources and from other satellites too.
These satellites remain stationary; hence they are ideal for use as communication satellites.
These satellites are placed at high attitudes and they can view the entire earth’s surface area except a small region at south and north geographic poles. They can scan the small area very frequently. This means they are ideal for meteorological applications.
The orbital sector is really a thin loop in the plane of the equator; hence a very small number of satellites can be maintained within this sector without mutual conflicts and collisions.
The other region poorly served by geo-stationary satellites are Polar Regions, where image distortions occur due to satellites position above the equator.
Another disadvantage of geo-stationary satellite is a result of their high attitude. Radio signals take approximately 0.25 of a second to reach and return from the satellite, resulting in a small but significant signal delay. This delay raises the trouble of interactive communication like telephonic conservation.
Applications of Geo-Stationary satellites:
These satellites have modernized and transformed the global communications, television broadcasting and weather forecasting and also have a number of important defense and intelligence applications.
INDIAN NATIONAL SATELLITE
India is one of the few countries of the world that build, launch and operate their own meteorological satellites. In 1982, when other countries had satellites meant exclusively for meteorological remote sensing, India pioneered the concept of multipurpose geo-stationary satellites, The Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system commissioned by ISRO in 1983. INSAT was the largest domestic communication system in the Asia-Pacific region and was a joint venture of the Indian Department of Space (DOS). Department of Telecommunications, India Meteorological department, All India Radio and Dooradarshan to provide telecommunication, television broadcasting, meteorology and disaster warning services.
INSAT Satellites provides 199 transponders in various bands (C, S extended C and KU) to serve the television and communication needs of India. Some of the satellites also have a very high resolution radiometer (VHRR), CCD cameras for meteorological imaging. INSAT services initiated a major resolution after commission. INSAT 1B in 1983 and sustained the same. INSAT space segment is 24 satellites out of which 9 are in service. They are:
Indian National Satellite System:
First operational multi-purpose communication meteorological satellite launched by United States Delta Launch vehicle on 10th April 1982. It was deactivated five months later.
Identical to INSAT-1A. It is launched by US Space Shuttle on 30th August 1983. It served for more than the designed life of seven years (10 years).
Same s INSAT-1A, launched by European Launch Vehicle Ariane on 20th July 1988. It served for 15 months.
The specifications of INSAT-1D are same as INSAT-1B, launched by US Delta Launch Vehicle on 6th June 1990.
First satellite in the second generation indigenously built INSAT-2 series. It has enhanced capability than INSAT-1 series. It is launched by European Launch Vehicle- Ariane on 10th July 1992.
Second satellite in INSAT-2 series, a multi-purpose telecommunication satellite which is launched by European Arinane Launch Vehicle on 23rd July 1993.
It has additional capabilities such as mobile satellite services, business communication and television and increased communication facilities in remote areas. Launched by European Launch Vehicle on 7th July 1995.
Same as INSAT-2C.Launched by European Launch Vehicle Ariane on 4th June 1997.It is abandoned since 5th October 1997.
It is a communication satellite replacement for INSAT-2D. It is procured in orbit in January 1998 from Arabstat.
It is the last of the five satellites in INSAT-2 series. It is a multipurpose communication and meteorological satellite launched on 3rd April 1999 by Ariane.
INSAT-3B was the first of the first five ISRO built satellites under INSAT-3 series. It is a multipurpose communication satellite serves for business communication, developmental communication and mobile communication, which was launched as 22nd March 2000.
GSAT-1 is an envisaged technology demonstrator. It is the first experimental satellite for the first developmental flight of Geo-Synchronous satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-D1. It is launched on 18th April 2001.
INSAT-3C to augment the existing INSAT capacity for communication and broadcasting, which was launched by Ariane-4 from Kalpana-1. French Guyana on January 24th 2002. Kalpana-1 is an exclusive meteorological satellite built by ISRO named after KalpanaChavila, launched by PSLV on 12th September 2002.
The multipurpose communication satellite for communication, weather, search and receive operations. It was launched by Arianeon 3rd April 2003.
The experimental satellite for the second developmental flight on India’s Geo-Synchronous satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV.
INSAT-3E, an exclusive communication satellite to further augment the communication services provided by INSAT System, which was launched on 28th September 2003.
India’s first exclusive educational satellite. It is configured for audio-visual medium employing digital interactive classroom lessons and multimedia content. EDUSAT was launched by GSLV on 20th September 2004.
HAMSAT is ISRO’s first theme based as micro satellite meant for providing satellite based amateur radio services launched on 5th May 2005.
INSAT-4A, first in INSAT-4 satellite series launched on 22nd December 2005 by the European Launch Vehicle. It is the most advanced satellite. TATA Sky, a joint venture between TATA group and STAR uses INSAT-4A for distributing their direct to home digital television services across India.
INSAT-4B was to be the most advanced communication satellite and was the second in the INSAT-4 series. India launched the INSAT-4C on 10th July2006 from Sriharikota. However, the launch was unsuccessful as the Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV F 02) carrying the satellite veered from its projected path, 60 seconds after launch and was self-destructed over the Bay of Bengal.
It was launched on 12th March 2007 by the European Ariane Launch Vehicle. INSAT-4B carries 12KU band and 12C band transponders. On 7th July 2010 ISRO has reported the glitch in the operation of INSTA-4Bpower was not following from are of the solar panels to the satellite bus from July 7th night, which led to the switching off 50% of the transponders on the board of the satellite.
INSAT-4CR was launched on 2nd September 2007 by GSLV-FO4. It is a replacement satellite of INSAT-4C which was lost when GSLV-FO2 failed and had to be destroyed in its course. This satellite is designed for a mission life of 10 years. This satellite is used by airteland SUN Direct D2H to broadcast D2H services.
GSAT-4 was an experimental satellite weighing 2220Kgs launched on 15th April 2010.
GSAT-5P was the fifth satellite in the GSAT series weighing 2310Kgs. It is the replacement of satellite for INSAT-2E. It is an exclusive communication satellite carry 24C-band and 12 extended C-band transponders. This satellite was to be launched on 20th December 2010, however due to the leakage in one of the values of the cryogenics engine the launch was postponed to 25 December 2010. However when it was launched from Sriharikota, it exploded.
The Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system is a multi-agency, multipurpose operational satellite system for domestic telecommunications, meteorological observations and data relay, nation-wide direct satellite television broadcasting and nation-wide radio and television programme distribution. The Geo-stationary Satellite services in India were commissioned in 1983 with the launch of INSAT-1B. Today INSAT is one of the largest domestic communication systems in the Asia Pacific region with five satellite, INSAT-2DT, INSAT-2E, INSAT-3B, INSAT-3C and KALPANA-1 in operation. The INSAT system is a joint venture of DOS (Department of Science) and DOT (Department of Telecommunications) IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) AIR (All India Radio) and Doordarshan. The overall co-ordination and management of INSAT system rests with secretary level INSAT Co-ordination Committee (ICC).
The INSAT System has had tremendous impact on telecommunication, weather forecasting and television expansion.
Telecommunication: A total of 548 telecommunication terminals of various sizes and capabilities are operating in the INSAT telecommunications network. Over 400 additional earth stations are under various stages of implementation in the DOT network.
Mobile Satellite Services (MSS): The INSAT mobile telephony, under INSAT-MSS provides mobile services.
Television: INSAT has been a major catalyst for the rapid expansion of television coverage in India. Satellite television covers over 65% of the Indian landmass and over 80% of the Indian population.
Educational TV: Transmission of educational programmes have been one of the high priority areas for Doordarshan. In this direction an exclusive 24 hours Educational TV, Gyandarshan, has been implemented by Doordarshan. Satellite based enrichment programmes for school children are produced by several state institutes of educational technology.
Satellite News gathering and dissemination: Satellite news gathering using INSAT system enables on-the-spot real time news coverage.
Radio networking: Radio networking through INSAT provides programme channels for national and regional networking.
Training and developmental communication channel (TDCC): Training and developmental communication channel using INSAT is operational since 1995. It provides one-way video and two way audio system of interactive education. The participants at the classrooms located nationwide receive lectures through simple dish antennae and have facility to interact with lecturers using telephone lines.
War has all along provided an importance to scientific research and technological innovations. In its turn, science and technology have most often been utilized to provide the defence hardware of a country. Defence is one area where it is wise to develop scientific reliance. India has developed an impressive defence infrastructure largely emphasizing on achievement of self-reliance.
In 1958, the Defence Science Organization and some other technical development establishments were amalgamated to form the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). A separate Department of Defence Research and Development (DRDD) was formed in 1980, administers the DRDD to form and implement plans of research, design and development, test and evaluation in areas pertaining to national security. The process leads to the introduction of new weapons and other equipment required by the armed forces. The DRDD also functions as the nodal agency for the execution of major development programmes of relevance to defence through integration of research, development, testing and production facilities with the national scientific institutions, public sector undertakings and other agencies.
The DRDO conducts research in important disciplines like aeronautics, rockets and missiles, electronics and instrumentation, combat vehicles, engineering, nodal systems, explosives research, food technology and nuclear medicine.
The recent achievement of DRDO include the successful flight testing of missile systems, namely surface-to-surface tactical battlefield missile Akash, third generation anti-tank missile Nag etc.
Several high technology projects which include Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), gas turbine engine, and Pilotless target aircraft are at various stages of development in DRDO. The successful completion of these projects would greatly contribute towards self-reliance in critical areas of defence technologies.
Research in health is being done in the areas of radioimmunoassay, radiobiology and bioengineering at the institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences.
The Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied sciences carries out studies on high altitude acclimatization and devises methods for increased fighting efficiency, safety and comfort of the armed forces.
The Defence Food Laboratory and Central Food and Technological Research Institute of CSIR, Mysore, have developed products, processes, preservatives and suitable packaging materials so that suitable Indian packaged food can be provided to the armed forces in difficult terrain.
The Defence Scientific Information and Documentation Centre is the central agency for collection, processing and dissemination of scientific information.
Much of what is needed by the services is now being developed and produced indigenously in the several ordinance factories and 8 defence public sector undertakings. Private enterprises have also entered the defence R&D sector after liberalization.
The ordinance factories have produced field guns, anti-aircraft guns, mortars, various small arms, rockets, bombs, grenades, battle tanks, patrol vehicles, parachutes etc. the country is nearly self-reliant in ammunition, explosives and small arms.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) designs, manufactures, repairs and overhauls various types of aircrafts, helicopters and related aero engines, instruments and accessories.
Bharat Electronics manufactures low and high power communication equipment, broadcast transmitter, gun control equipment, weapons control system etc.
Mazagaon Dock Ltd (MDL), Mumbai and Goa Shipyard Ltd. (GSL), Goa are the leading ship-building and ship-repairing units in the defence public sector having facilities to build sophisticated warships.
Bharat Dynamics Ltd, at Hyderabad, has the prime objective of establishing a production base for guided missiles for the development of missile production technology in the country.
Spin-off Technologies for Civilian Use:
The DRDO’s research and development activities for military applications continue to generate spin-off technologies for civilian use. The new technologies have benefitted various sectors such as metallurgy, agriculture, avalance forecasting, and medical services which do not find in economically feasible to develop the technologies independently.
The Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory have developed a device called ‘Sanjeevani’ which can detect sound signals for submarines. This device was used to rescue people buried under debris during the Gujarat Earthquake in 2001.
The indigenously manufactured coronary stent called “Kalam-Raju sent” developed by defense scientists form three Hyderabad labs costs only Rs. 25,000 whie and imported stent costs around Rs.60,000
Recently, the DRDO developed the world’s first water canon. Thus canon is useful in riot control.
The ready-to-eat meals developed for the troops in cold and remote areas such as Siachen, have found their way to civilian shop shelves.
Cytoscan which uses optical image processing used in missile programmes is a useful tool in cancer diagnosis.
The ultra-strong light weight reinforced plastics used to make missile nose cones is now used to reduce the weight of a conventional 4kg caliper to one-tenth of its weight (400g)
The DRDO research has led to interesting by-products that are helpful both in defense and civilian applications.
India’s Nuclear Energy Programme
India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru with his foresight built up a variable infra structure, soon after independence, for nuclear research. The Atomic Energy Act was commissioned in 1948. Later in 1954 the department of Atomic Energy was set up. The DAE was under the charge of the Prime Minister.
The Prime objective of the Atomic Energy Programme is the development, control and use of atomic energy solely for a peaceful purpose, namely the generation of electricity and development of nuclear applications in research, agriculture, industry and medicine.
To achieve this objective efforts were initiated to built up a versatile infrastructure, research facilities, trained scientific and technical man power, raw material processing centres and capable of manufacturing nuclear components and electronic equipment to support the Atomic Energy programme in India.
When the country’s Atomic Energy programme was launched in 1940’s, a three stage nuclear energy programme was envisaged to use the available uranium and vast thorium resources.
India’s Uranium resource s can support a first stage programme of about 10,000MW based on pressurised heavy water reactors using natural uranium as fuel, to produce power and plutonium as by-product.
The energy potential of natural uranium can be increased to 3,00,000MW in the second stage through Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) which utilized plutonium obtained from the recycled fuel of first stage.
Thorium is used as a blanket to produce U-233 with the deployment (utilization) or Thorium in the third stage, using U-233 as fuel, the energy potential for the electricity generation is large and substantial.
The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has an integrated group of organizations. The department has five research centres.
B.A.R.C. – Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai.
Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Centre – Kalpakkam (Madras).
Raja Ramanna Centre for advanced technology – Indore
Variable Energy Centre – Kolkata.
Atomic Minerals Directorate for exploration and research – Hyderabad.
In 1974, India exploded its experimental nuclear device. The peaceful nuclear explosion, as it is termed, had a plutonium device. It was placed at a depth of 107 metres in Thar Desert. No radioactivity is said to have been released into the surroundings by the explosion. 24 years after in May 1998 India onec again carried out explosion in Thar Desert. Future of Atomic Energy in India. In “VISION 2020”, it is proposed to install nuclear power capacity of 20,000MW by the year 2020. Considering that nuclear power is safe and environmentally clear source of power generation and that. India has vast Thorium reserves; Nuclear Power Corporation will play a leading role in future to meet the ever increasing energy demands of the country.
Our conventional resources coal and oil are depleting day by day, hence future requirements of power could be met by tapping nuclear resources.
Effects of Nuclear explosion: (Read explanation from Pg 343 – Pg 344 of textbook)
The four basic effects are:
Initial nuclear radiation
Residual Nuclear Radiation
India’s Safety measures: (Further Reading from Pg 359 – Pg 360 of text book)
Indian nuclear energy plants follow a ‘closed cycle’ that involves the reprocessing of spent fuel and recycle of Plutonium and Uranium-233. Reprocessing plants are operating in Tarapur, Trombay and Kalpakkam.
Waste Immobilization Plant incorporate the radioactive waste from the reprocessing plant and it is then converted to glass by a process called vitrification.
Vitrified waste is stored in specially designed Solid Storage Surveillance Facility (SSSF) for 30 years before the disposal in deep geological areas.
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) carries out regulatory and safety functions under the atomic Energy act 1962. It frames rules and regulations related to safety. This Board consists of many eminent scientists and engineers from industry, university etc. Any nuclear installation has to be approved by AERB.
A Crisis Management Group was formed to ensure that the nuclear installations are adequately done and they are equipped to deal with any emergency situation.
India has also established a national network of monitoring stations to detect unusual radiation in many places like Tarapur, Kalpakkam, Mumbai, Kolkata and Indore.
BARC has developed an improved inspection system for coolant channels in nuclear reactors.
The nuclear plants are decontaminated few years in order to protect the employees working in the nuclear plant.