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ISRO Develops “Solar Calculator” Android App

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Computation of solar energy potential is essential to select the locations for solar photovoltaic (PV) thermal power plants. The use of remote sensing observations from geostationary satellite sensors is ideal to capture space-time variability of surface insolation. An android App for the computation of solar energy potential has been developed by Space Applications Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmedabad at the behest of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India. It is a very useful tool for installation of PV solar panels for tapping solar energy.

The App provides monthly/yearly solar potential (in kWh/m2) and minimum/maximum temperature at any location. It also displays the location on the satellite image and provides azimuth/elevation angles as well as day length over different time periods in a year.

Following are the major features of the App:

  • The App provides solar energy potential (in kWh/m2) at any given location.
  • The required location can be keyed in or can be obtained through GPS.
  • It gives monthly and yearly solar potential processed using Indian Geostationary Satellite data (Kalpana-1, INSAT-3D, and INSAT-3DR). It also offers monthly minimum and maximum temperature to calculate realistic solar potential.
  • The location is displayed on the image with satellite data in the background.
  • It also provides azimuth and elevation angles, and day length over different time periods in a year.
  • Obstruction of sunlight due to terrain is also calculated using Digital Elevation Model (DEM).
  • It also suggests optimum tilt angle for solar PV installation.
  • This App needs an internet connection to calculate the results.
  • The complete report can be saved as a PDF file.

 

The App can be downloaded from “New and Renewable Energy” section at vedas.sac.gov.in

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Survey of India Launches Web Portal to Download Maps

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The Survey of India (SOI) has launched new web portal called Nakshe to make open series maps available to Indians for free.

Organization : Survey of India (SOI)
Headquarters: Dehradun
Founder: East India Company
Founded: 1767

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The portal was launched by Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan on the occasion of 250th anniversary of SOI.

Features of Nakshe Portal

It will offer a free download of 3,000 Topographic maps or Open Series Maps (OSM) in a pdf format on 1:50,000 scale through Aaadhar enabled user authentication process. The maps are meant for development activities in the country and can be also used to plan scientific expeditions, research, and planning development projects. Topographic maps or OSM comprise natural and man-made geographical features including terrain or topography.

The SoI has a rich collection of over 5,000 maps. While it made 3,000 maps open to the public for download, 1700 will be available for downloading soon. The remaining maps are awaiting clearance. Under the National Map Policy 2005, it had become necessary to make non-defence maps accessible for public. “Earlier, even government departments had to pay some amount to get the maps from Survey of India. We have relaxed that norm now,” Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, the ministry of Science and Technology, said. Harsh Vardhan said the SoI is also awaiting clearance from Nepal to measure the height of Mt. Everest post-2015 earthquake.
About Survey of India (SOI)
SOI is the principal mapping agency of the country. It comes under the Department of Science & Technology. Its origin can be traced back to The year 1767, making it oldest scientific department in India and one of the oldest survey establishments in the world. It prepares maps for defense and civilian purposes and is considered a standard reference for the shape, extent and geographic features of the country. SOI has surveyed and mapped each and every part of the country and these maps have played a valuable role in nation building and were pivotal in almost all major developmental activities of modern India.

Note: Foundation for the scientific survey and mapping of the country was laid with The Great Trigonometric Survey (GTS) in the 19th century on 10th April 1802, by noted surveyors Col. Lambton and Sir George Everest. Interestingly, Everest has been named after former Surveyor General of India Col Sir George Everest. The measurement of the world’s highest peak has been made by the SoI.

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Nakshe Portal

NASA Releases Software Catalog, Free Access to Technologies for Earthly Applications

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NASA has released its 2017-2018 software catalog, which offers an extensive portfolio of software products for a wide variety of technical applications, all free of charge to the public, without any royalty or copyright fees.

Available in both hard copy and online, this third edition of the publication has contributions from all the agency’s centers on data processing/storage, business systems, operations, propulsion, and aeronautics. It includes many of the tools NASA uses to explore space and broaden our understanding of the universe. A number of software packages are being presented for release for the first time. Each catalog entry is accompanied with a plain language description of what it does.

“The software catalog is our way of supporting the innovation economy by granting access to tools used by today’s top aerospace professionals to entrepreneurs, small businesses, academia, and industry,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) in Washington. “Access to these software codes has the potential to generate tangible benefits that create American jobs, earn revenue and save lives.”

The new NASA Software Catalog includes the code LEWICE, developed to help study the effects of ice on an aircraft in flight.

NASA published the first edition of its software catalog in April 2014, becoming the first comprehensive listing of publicly available software to be compiled by a federal government agency — the largest creator of custom code. Since then, NASA has shared thousands of its software programs with students, industry, individuals and other government agencies.

“Software has been a critical component of each of NASA’s mission successes and scientific discoveries. In fact, more than 30 percent of all reported NASA innovations are software,” said Dan Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer program executive. “We’re pleased to transfer these tools to other sectors and excited at the prospect of seeing them implemented in new and creative ways.” (The new NASA Software Catalog includes the code LEWICE, developed to help study the effects of ice on an aircraft in flight and to help create ice detection systems. Credits: NASA)

Some of the software available include codes for more advanced drones, and quieter aircraft. While access restrictions apply to some codes, NASA has automated and updated its software release process over the last two years to ensure that it is as quick, easy and straightforward as possible.

The software catalog is a product of NASA’s Technology Transfer program, managed for the agency by STMD. The program ensures technologies developed for missions in exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public, maximizing the benefit to the nation.

Source

NASA’s Software Website

Software Catalog