Could solar wind power Earth

first_img Citation: Could solar wind power Earth? (2010, October 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 IKAROS unfurls first ever solar sail in space ( — As we strive to find sources of alternative energy, a number of researchers continue to look to what we consider the ultimate in renewable energy — the sun. However, on earth creating efficient solar panels remains a challenge. While solar cells have been increasing in efficiency, and while new advances are made in solar technology on earth, there are some looking to harvest solar energy a little bit closer to the source by harvesting energy from the solar wind. The solar wind is a stream of charged particles that heads outward from the sun’s upper atmosphere. They move outward toward Earth and the rest of the planets, and provide the potential to power to the entire Earth, according to some researchers. And, even though we refer to the solar wind as “wind”, it wouldn’t provide energy in the way we see wind turbines act here on earth. Instead, energy from the solar wind would be collected by a gigantic sail deployed in space, between the sun and Earth. One proposal has been offered by scientists at Washington State University. Discovery News reports on the specs of a massive solar sail — and its potential:According to the team’s calculations, 300 meters (984 feet) of copper wire, attached to a two-meter-wide (6.6-foot-wide) receiver and a 10-meter (32.8-foot) sail, would generate enough power for 1,000 homes.A satellite with a 1,000-meter (3,280-foot) cable and a sail 8,400 kilometers (5,220 miles) across, placed at roughly the same orbit, would generate one billion billion gigawatts of power.The real challenge is how to get all that energy back to Earth in order to power the planet. One idea is to use a concentrated laser beam to send the energy back to Earth. Unfortunately, there would be millions of miles between satellite and its earthly target, making it difficult for the laser beam to reach the planet without widening and losing energy. While it is likely that the solar sail could be built and deployed with current technology, beaming the energy it harvests from the solar wind will take a little more time to figure out. Until then, we will have to be content with solar cells on Earth. More information: — Eric Bland, “Solar Or Wind Power? Why Not Both?” Discovery News (September 29, 2010). Available online: … nd-energy-power.html– Brooks L. Harrop and Dirk Schulze-Makuch, “The Solar Wind Power Satellite as an alternative to a traditional Dyson Sphere and its implications for remote detection,” International Journal of Astrobiology (2010). Available online: … Id=S1473550410000066 Image source: Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

ViviSat space vehicles will keep satellites on track

first_img Explore further New US military satellite launched into space More information: ( — A company that aims to sell satellite protective services is eagerly stating its business case to geosynchronous satellite operators that can benefit from its approach toward orbit mission extension. ViviSat intends to help these operators to add years to the revenue-producing life of a satellite. Having to mind one’s orbit assets is a concern that the company believes will draw new customers. The company’s CEO, Major General, U.S.A.F. [Ret.] Craig Weston, said that ViviSat was in negotiations with potential customers and that market conditions for such services were strong. Weston is the head of U.S. Space; he has spent a large part of his career operating communications, infra-red warning, and reconnaissance satellites. The MEV uses a space-ready docking system and integrated proximity sensors to rendezvous with the host satellite. ViviSat’s MEV does not add fuel or remove any materials on the satellite itself, however, but the company notes this is an advantage, not limitation. For customers in need of an MEV that would be less intrusive, its vehicle allows satellite operations to continue uninterrupted even with the MEV attached. “Satellites were designed to not be tampered with, and this is a passive approach, which is appealing to operators,” said Edward Horowitz, company chairman of the board. Horowitz is co founder of U.S. Space and former CEO of SES Americom.Two entities, U.S. Space and ATK Space Systems, created ViviSat, which was announced last year. U.S. Space takes care of business and mission management. ATK is the prime contractor, responsible for the manufacture and delivery of the spacecraft, launch and ground segments. (ATK manufactured reusable solid rocket motors for NASA’s space shuttles.)Geostationary satellites perform continuous monitoring of a specific region. ViviSat’s confidence in serving a market need is supported by the fact that, “If you just look at the commercial market, there are 350 to 360 satellites in geostationary orbit,” said Horowitz in, of which about 25 each year reach the end of their fuel life. He said that out of those 25, “we figure 10 are good target customers for this.” The company sees its market opportunities lie in both commercial and government spacecraft.Horowitz said, “We’re ready to sell, we’re ready to build, we’re ready to deliver.” The company has been designing a space vehicle that can adjust an older satellite’s orbit, rescue fully fueled satellites that may have launched into the wrong location, or move a satellite into a different orbit for a completely new purpose. ViviSat’s device is a Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) with the purpose of safely connecting to an orbiting satellite to provide supplemental and propulsive capabilities. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: ViviSat space vehicles will keep satellites on track (2012, May 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2012 Phys.Orglast_img read more

NanoTritium battery is good for twenty years or more

first_img Satellite battery could put Nittany Lion paw print in space City Labs requested defense contractor Lockheed Martin to test their batteries, which were confirmed to operate as specified and to be resistant to extreme temperatures (-50°C to +150°C), and extreme vibration and altitude. The power cell generates electricity using a layer of the radioactive-element tritium, mounted onto a semiconductor. The City Labs’ battery produces nanowatts of power; it is not strong enough to power a cell phone or laptop. This is a low-power battery that can run micro-electronics, anywhere that is hard, dangerous or expensive to reach. Applications include implants such as pacemakers as well as devices in industry (sensors on deep-water oil drills) and defense. This is further described as a commercially-viable “betavoltaic” power source, meaning it’s powered by a radioactive element. Whereas normal batteries are powered by chemical processes, the NanoTritium is powered by physical processes of the benign radioisotope, tritium. The makers point out that tritium is already used in exit signs and divers’ watches. Peter Cabauy and Denset Serralta founded the company in 2005; Cabauy has a PhD in applied physics. Larry Olsen, who also has a PhD in physics, later joined the business. He is known for his work in the 1970s on betavoltaic batteries. He helped to create a betavoltaic power source strong enough to power pacemakers. Olsen is the City Labs director of research. Others on the staff have similarly strong backgrounds in engineering and science. The company was awarded an Air Force contract of nearly $1 million for a higher-power, customized battery, and has been fueled by private investors as well. In a historical review paper about the betavoltaic battery, Olsen, Serralta and Cabauy noted that numerous research groups have continued attempts to commercialize a betavoltaic that is both reliable and safe. Dr. Olsen had published a betavoltaic review suggesting tritium as a safe alternative to other radioisotopes. Independently, City Labs also concluded that tritium could be an excellent candidate for use within a betavoltaic battery design. Available commercially, the device is expected to be valued in the “couple thousand dollar range” at first, Cabauy said, but in time as the company produces more the price may become less. The battery is currently available in “engineering” quantities, according to the company, up to 1,000 a year, and is assembled in the company’s lab. Explore further ( — Florida-based City Labs says it has created an adult’s thumb-sized, battery, NanoTritium, that can last 20 years or more in the most extreme conditions, such as extreme temperature and vibrations. © 2012 Phys.Orgcenter_img More information: Citation: NanoTritium battery is good for twenty years (or more) (2012, August 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Open source 3D printed robot extends hand to DIY fans w video

first_imgHe began with making a right hand, designed in Blender and printed on a 3-D Touch. After several iterations, he added a shoulder, head, brain, and voice command. He shared details on Thingiverse, a site where one can share digital designs. Like Langevin, the site’s team like to support others in making things.”The body parts can be printed, but you’ll have to add mechanical and electronic components such as cables, servos, and Arduinos to make the machine work,” he said. Some of his guideposts for enthusiasts, for example, are suggestions about replacing printed screw threads with linear actuators, for better accuracy and strength. “But I try to manage my wallet for this project,” he said, “and I know a lot of you are in the same kind of position. So if you’ve got a thick wallet, you can replace those parts fairly easily. I have made the space for it and added attachment holes for to be adaptive.”He said that “working as a sculptor modelmaker for Factices Ateliers, in the real physical world, this is my contribution to the OpenSource 3-D world.” More information: This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (—Gael Langevin, a French sculptor and model maker, has a project that he would be happy to share with others with similar enthusiasm for putting their imaginations to work in 3-D printing. Since last year he has been busy with the design and painstaking engineering of a humanlike robot called InMoov. It is designed to be a robot that one can 3-D print and animate following the maker’s instructions. He told the world on his blog that he had to redesign and print a few times before he finally got InMoov the way he wanted to. “My second design was too large to stay in a human size range.”Presently, he has succeeded in making a human-like robot with head and torso and movable hands who can respond to voice commands. The robot is not cuddly, cute, or at all huggable. Physically, it may veer, for some viewers, toward an Uncanny Valley. Nonetheless, making it cute does not seem to be his point, but rather to show what 3-D printing with off-the-shelf materials can do and to help others to do the same. Citation: Open source 3-D printed robot extends hand to DIY fans (w/ video) (2013, January 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Kondo Robot releases a hexapod robot kit (w/ video) The list of electronics components includes Arduino uno x2; MG995 / HK2598 servos x12; Hitec HS805BB servos x8; -0.8mm nylon thread (fishing line); miscellaneous bolts; 3 kg natural ABS filament (various colors) and 6V 44A batteries and charger. © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

Swami on strings

first_imgThis was the first time in India that the English version of the puppet show, on Swami Vivekananda, was shown. Hon’ble Minister of Culture and Tourism, Shripad Yasso Naik inaugurated the show at Ramakrishna Mission Auditorium. Commenting on the occasion, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Shripad Yasso Naik said, ‘Puppetry is a very ancient form of expression in India which has been in origin since around 3000 years. Over the years, the art form has been re-inventing itself keeping in mind the prevailing contemporary issues from the society. Swami Vivekananda revitalised Hinduism within and outside India, and was the principal reason for the enthusiastic reception of yoga, transcendental meditation and other forms of Indian spiritual self-improvement in the West. I’m overwhelmed to see such eloquent expression of his life through puppetry today.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Udaipur’s famed Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, designed and produced the show as a running story featuring episodes of Swami Vivekananda’s life. The audio-visual effects and an engaging script of the show held the attention of the audience throughout the show. This English version of the show will be showcased in U.S.A and Canada in  coming days.Earlier, on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, IGNCA in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission, Delhi produced the puppet show in Hindi on the life of Swami Vivekananda. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Hindi puppet show, has already travelled to around 200 centres in the North, North-East and Western India. However, this is the first time that the English version of the show has been organised. Speaking about this show Member Secretary of IGNCA, Dipali Khanna, said, ‘Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th century managed to spread his thoughts on spiritualism globally which over the years has inspired the many generations. Hence, it is essential that his preaching continues to reach out to the new set of followers.  IGNCA attempts to reach out to a wider set of audience to communicate his remarkable and stellar journey through this puppet show.’Vivekananda believed that a country’s future depends on its people, and his teachings focused on human development. He wanted to set in motion machinery which would bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest. Vivekananda linked morality with control of the mind, seeing truth, purity and unselfishness as traits which strengthened it.The show is a great chance for chidlren today to learn about Vivekananda in a more intertaining way instead of just reading about him from history books.last_img read more

Calcutta Boys School to introduce Humanities from 201920 academic session

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta Boys’ School (CBS) will introduce Humanities from the 2019-20 academic session. “We at CBS teach Science and Commerce in Class XI and XII. However, in recent times we are witnessing a huge demand amongst our students for pursuing Humanities after passing Class X Board examination. Hence, we have decided to introduce Humanities from the next academic year. All major subjects in humanities will be taught,” said Raja McGee, principal and secretary of The Calcutta Boys’ School. There will be 55 seats for the Humanities stream. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe school that has stepped into its 141st year inaugurated a new Commemoration Building on its main campus on SN Banerjee Road on Tuesday. The Commemoration building was inaugurated by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. Union Minister of state for External Affairs MJ Akbar and Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay were present at the inaugural function.The construction work for the new block had started in 2012. The school has witnessed a major boost in infrastructure to keep in pace with the changing times that includes total revamp of fire fighting facilities and elevators for the students. The new building will have ramp and other facilities for the disabled students. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”Ours is a heritage institution and the Commemoration Building has been built maintaining the heritage facia of the Main building which cradled the CBS ever since it moved to its own campus in 1893,” McGee saidThe CBS has also come up with a cafeteria and a gymnasium, nostalgically named the ‘Patty Man Café’ and the ‘Cub Den’ respectively. The school already has smart classrooms, bright and radiant science and computer laboratories equipped with the paraphernalia that modern laboratories command. It may be mentioned that Calcutta Boys’ School has 2,473 students on its main campus while there are three more branches at Beliaghata, Sonarpur and Asansol.It was Bishop Thoburn who founded the Calcutta Boys’ School. First located on Mott Lane, and then later housed in a room on Corporation Street (known as S N Banerjee Road today), the school struggled for its survival without a building of its own. It acquired a permanent residence in 1893 thanks to the generosity of Sir Robert Laidlaw, who could be regarded as the chief patron of the school.last_img read more

Four held for killing man during group clash in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: Four persons were arrested on Wednesday in West Bengal’s Birbhum district for the killing of a young man, Sheikh Dildar, in a group clash between supporters of two parties, police said. They were remanded in seven-day police custody by a court.”One person had died in a clash between the two groups on Monday. We have arrested four persons from Suri police station area,” district Superintendent of Police N. Sudheer Kumar told IANS over phone. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe officer said the four accused are residents of Birbhum but did not give details on their political affiliations. The four were charged, among other offences, with murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. Dildar was shot dead during a clash between supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in Birbhum’s Suri on Monday afternoon, which was the last day of the extended deadline for filing of nominations for the panchayat elections. Both parties claimed he was their member.State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh claimed that Dildar was a member of the BJP district minority cell and was killed by Trinamool Congress supporters.On the other hand, Trinamool’s district President Annubrata Mondal said Dildar and his family were actively involved with his party for many years and blamed BJP-backed goons from Jharkhand for his death.last_img read more

Abhishek leads protest rally in Purulia intellectuals join outcry

first_imgKolkata: Abhishek Banerjee, All India Trinamool Youth Congress president and party’s MP, led a rally in Purulia on Sunday protesting against the killing of five Bengalis at Tinsukia district in Assam.It may be mentioned that Banerjee held a rally on Friday in Kolkata protesting against the same. From there, he had demanded an inquiry by the Supreme Court into the Assam massacre. In Kolkata, he had addressed a rally at Hazra Road intersection. The Trinamool Congress organised protest marches all across the state protesting against the incident and on Saturday, Banerjee led a protest rally in Bankura district. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAfter leading the mammoth rally at Bankura, he went to Purulia where he led another huge procession protesting against the same incident. He was carrying a black flag and slammed the BJP for such gruesome incidents in which people are getting killed for hailing from a particular community. Banerjee addressed the rally and urged people to raise their voices against such incidents of violence. Meanwhile, intellectuals from the state protested against the killing of the five Bengalis in Assam. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to them, exclusion of 40 lakh people in the final draft of the Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) created an unstable situation and such incidents are an outcome of the same. Intellectuals including Subodh Sarkar, Suvaprasanna, Abhirup Sarkar and others held a meeting in front of the Academy of Fine Arts. Poet Subodh Sarkar said: “Five Bengalis have been shot dead in Assam and no reason behind it has surfaced yet. It had been a tradition that Assamese and Bengalis stayed together. Then who are these people trying to create fissures between them? We know who are they and I would like to tell them that they are playing with fire and they have to stop doing the same immediately.” Sarkar also added: “This is inhuman. We cannot believe that a human being can do such a thing. There was a good relation between Assamese and Bengalis. But the trouble began since the NRC issue cropped up and now it is going to an extreme level.” Painter Suvaprasanna condemned the attack on the poor people and asserted that Bengal would stood by them in such hour. Singer Pratul Mukhopadhyay, film personality Dipankar Dey were among others present at the protest.last_img read more