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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.

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NASA’s Software Website

Software Catalog

India’s First Nationwide Digital Address System – eLoc

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[eLoc by MapmyIndia is the Aadhar of Addresses A Digital Address is necessary for a Digital India!]

MapmyIndia, India’s leader in premium-quality digital maps, GPS navigation, GPS tracking, location-based apps and GIS solutions, today announced the release of MapmyIndia eLoc, India’s first Nationwide Digital Address. This powerful innovation, packaged as a simple and easy-to-use digital address, will transform historical addresses and disrupt traditional mapping and navigation services, bringing immense convenience to individuals and significant benefits to businesses and governments across India.

(Image Source : http://www.mapmyindia.com/eloc/)

eLoc will help Indian travelers and commuters search, share and navigate to destinations’ exact doorstep far more easily and quickly. It will also reduce time, money, fuel wastage and expenses for businesses in the e-commerce, transportation, logistics and field operations domains. Finally, governance at all levels, across urban and rural levels, will be empowered with much more productivity and transparency when it comes to civic amenities delivery such as electricity, water, gas as well as property tax administration and tax evasion detection.

What is eLoc?

eLoc by MapmyIndia is simply put, the Aadhaar of addresses. eLoc of any place, be it a building/flat/office/business/city/village/locality/road and so on, is a short, 6 character code (for e.g. 8GDTYX, or MMI000), which is easy to remember, share, type and provide.Behind the convenience and simplicity of eLoclies the huge power of India’s most comprehensive, accurate and precise door-step level, 3D, digital map database and turn-by-turn navigation solution built by MapmyIndia. Hence, the power of eLoc is such that when a person, business or official searches for a place by entering its eLoc, they can see the precise map location of that place, get turn-by-turn directions to the exact entrance doorstep of that place, and also see information about that place besides its location, such as reviews, photos and other information provided by the place’s owner, businesses and governments. More information on what is an eLoc, how it works, and how one can access, use and share a place’s eloc is available at http://www.mapmyindia.com/eloc

2017-02-19

MapmyIndia has privately invested over 200 crores over the last 20+ years in advanced mapping technologies and professional field surveys to create India’s most comprehensive digital address database, as a result of which over 2 crore and counting eLocs, across all 7000+ urban towns and 6+ lakh villages in rural India, are already readily available for individual, business and government users to use instantly, for free. This nulls the need for significant future investment by public and private entities in creation of a digital map and address database. For new places that come up, or those that change or shut, or those missing in MapmyIndia’s database, users can add them by visiting http://maps.mapmyindia.com on their browser or by using the MapmyIndia mobile app across Android, iOS and Windows platforms, and MapmyIndia will continue to professionally verify and validate those contributions.

Those interested in learning more about eLoc by MapmyIndia, checking the eLoc of places they care about like their home, office, or other destinations they need to visit, as well as those interested in partnering with MapmyIndia to bring the benefits of eLoc to everyone, should visit http://www.mapmyindia.com/eloc

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Explore Maps

Braille Atlas for Visually Impaired

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The Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan released the Special Edition of “Atlas for Visually Impaired (India)” in English Braille today in New Delhi. This Braille Atlas has been prepared by National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) under Department of Science & Technology.

Image result for braille world atlas

(Image Source : Google)

The Minister expressed happiness at the production of these Atlases. He said these atlases will be distributed to various schools across the country for educating the students with visual challenges.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that all departments of Government will work to implement this. Efforts are being made to make these atlases more cost effective than the current price of Rs.600/- per atlas with 20 maps now. Silk screen printing used to prepare these atlases is unique to India, he added.

In the Braille Atlas, maps are raised and embossed with simple lines and point symbols to facilitate its users to realize the location and area coverage easily distinguishable in terms of shapes and textures. The legend and reference is placed on the map in Braille script to navigate the map. About 20 maps on different themes of physical, socio-economic and cultural aspects such as river system, natural vegetation, Metropolitan cities, Roads and Railways, Food crops and cash crops have been incorporated in the atlas with write-ups on every map as ready reference. This Atlas has been bestowed with National award for S&T intervention in empowering the physically challenged by the Prime Minister on 3rd January, 2017 in Indian Science Congress held in Tirupati.

NATMO has recently walked ahead to prepare Braille atlases for visually impaired persons. NATMO’s long effort from metallic tactile maps to silk-screen printing technology to prepare a full volume of atlas is perhaps unique in the World. NATMO’s aim is to transmit scientific information in the form of maps and atlases in a cost-effective manner, as more than 50 lakh visually challenged citizens of our country are mainly from low-income group. Till date their knowledge is constrained within books and literatures. Enriched with this experience, they will be able to understand the Indian geographical contours and will be empowered with wealth of knowledge.

National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) is the premier agency of applied Geo-Spatial technology and pioneer in Thematic Mapping and Atlas Cartography under Department of Science & Technology(Ministry of Science & Technology) engaged in preparing different thematic maps and atlases and other documents on national, state, district, block level and many other monograms. The contribution made by NATMO in developing the thematic maps/ data is being regularly used by the decision makers in the entire country at districts and sub-divisions levels for implementing the developmental schemes as well as by the researchers, students and common people.

Source – Press Information Bureau

NATMO Reference

BRICS Nations Agreed to share spatial data from Remote Sensing satellite

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Member nations of the five-nation group BRICS have agreed to share spatial data on natural resources from their remote-sensing satellites.

The move is geared towards making optimal use of space assets. According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials the nations will be exchanging data, including images of natural resources. Though only four of them – Brazil, Russia, India and China have remote-sensing satellites in the sun-synchronous orbit, they will give data to South Africa (SA) as it does not have a satellite of its own. Top space officials of BRICS met at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Scientific and Technical Subcommittee’s 54th session at Vienna in Austria from January 30 to February 10.

Through this particular agreement, BRICS will be able to share the resources and bring developing nations under the umbrella of space, opening possibilities of using excess capacities in the satellites. As the BRIC satellites spin around the earth in lower orbit, capturing enormous data on the planet and its resources in each country, they will share it in real time for mutual benefit.

India plans to use its Resourcesat-2A, launched on December 7 from its spaceport Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, as part of its earth observation satellite for remote sensing data services to global users.

Going forward, the space agencies of the BRICS nations plan to share similar data for tele-education, tele-medicine and a host of societal applications, utilising the excess capacity of their respective satellites for their mutual benefit.

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Government to Airlines: Use GAGAN or Face Consequences

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The government has warned domestic airlines of `consequences’ if they did not adopt the Rs 774 crore GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation system. The warning came during a meeting called by the DGCA earlier this week with all stakeholders, including the airlines, who have not availed of the system even 18 months after its launch.Jointly developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI), at an investment of Rs 774 crore, the GAGAN system was officially launched by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in July last year. It is said to make airline operations more efficient and cut down costs as it reduces the separation between aircraft, increases air safety and fuel efficiency. The National Civil Aviation Policy, announced by the government in June, makes it mandatory for all aircraft registered in India from January 1, 2019 to be GAGAN-enabled.[IMG]

A notice issued by the DGCA dated December 19 stated that most aircraft registered in India are still not equipped with this technology. “This assumes significance as many airlines and operators have placed orders for many more aircraft which may not be equipped with necessary airborne equipment and thus not be GAGANcompliant,” DGCA director general B S Bhullar said. (Image Source: http://indiandefence.com/threads/irnss-and-gagan-explained.6981/)

However, in order for the domestic airlines to availing of the GAGAN system, they would have to make their aircraft GAGAN-compliant, which would entail a huge investment on their part. A DGCA source said that while smaller aircraft like ATRs and Bombardiers which are currently in the Indian carriers’ fleet are already equipped with the GAGAN system, bigger planes such as the Airbus A320, A330, Boeing 737, B777 and B 787s, among others, need to be retrofitted. Eight major domestic carriers – Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, JetLite, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, Vistara and AirAsia – have a total of 427 such planes currently in service.

“An airline will have to shell out as much as Rs 1-2 crore per aircraft to install the GAGAN system. Going by the number of planes that need to be retrofitted, the minimum investment will be at least Rs 400 crore,” the source said.

According to an ISRO spokesperson, GAGAN’s GEO footprint extends from Africa to Australia and has expansion capability for seamless navigation services across the region. “GAGAN provides the additional accuracy, availability, and integrity necessary for all phases of flight, from en route through approach for all qualified airports,” the spokesperson said.

The system is inter-operable with other international satellite based tracking systems such as the WAAS (US), EGNOS (Europe) and MSAD (Japan).

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