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ISRO aces final test of Reusable Launch Vehicle tech for Landing Experiment

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ISRO aces final test of Reusable Launch Vehicle tech for Landing Experiment

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday announced success in the final test of the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Landing EXperiment (LEX).

This is the third consecutive success in the series of LEX (03) technology demonstrating “the autonomous landing capability” and was conducted at 07:10 a.m. at the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Chitradurga, Karnataka.

But, the RLV LEX-03 mission achieved success “under more challenging release conditions (cross range of 500 m against 150 m for LEX-02) and more severe wind conditions,” ISRO said in a statement.

As part of the experiment, the winged vehicle, named ‘Pushpak’, was released from an Indian Air Force Chinook Helicopter at an altitude of 4.5 km.

Armed with advanced autonomous capabilities, “Pushpak executed a precise horizontal landing under challenging conditions,” ISRO said.

The space agency added that “from a release point 4.5 km away from the runway, Pushpak autonomously executed cross-range correction manoeuvres, approached the runway, and performed a precise horizontal landing at the runway centreline”.

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“Due to this vehicle’s low lift-to-drag ratio aerodynamic configuration, the landing velocity exceeded 320 kmph, compared to 260 kmph for a commercial aircraft and 280 kmph for a typical fighter aircraft”.

ISRO stated that post-touchdown, brake parachutes were used to reduce the vehicle velocity to nearly 100 kmph. Then landing gear brakes were used to decelerate and stop the vehicle on the runway.

The RLV-LEX mission, which uses multisensor fusion including sensors like an inertial sensor, radar altimeter, flush air data system, pseudo lite system, and NavIC, “simulated the approach and landing interface and high-speed landing conditions for a vehicle returning from space”.

ISRO noted that the winged body and flight systems were reused without any modification from the LEX-02 mission, demonstrating the robustness of ISRO’s capability of design to reuse flight systems for multiple missions.

Further, the success validates “the advanced guidance algorithm catering to longitudinal and lateral plane error corrections — essential for the future Orbital Reentry Mission”.

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ISRO now aims to “embark into RLV-ORV, the orbital reusable vehicle,” the agency said.

–IANS

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New capital gains regime to simplify tax system: CBDT Chairman

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New capital gains regime to simplify tax system: CBDT Chairman

New capital gains regime to simplify tax system: CBDT Chairman

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The new tax provisions and the capital gains tax regime will enable people to save more money than before and simplifying the tax assessment process will also provide relief to taxpayers, Ravi Agarwal, Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), said on Thursday.

Speaking to IANS, he said that the Union Budget 2024 would have a positive impact on the common people.

“In the new tax regime, income tax has been reduced and the standard deduction has also been increased. This will benefit the common people and they will save more money than before and be able to easily invest and spend somewhere,” Agarwal mentioned.

In the new tax regime, Income tax on income up to Rs 10 lakh has been reduced to 10 per cent, and standard deduction has been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000.

On the new capital gain tax regime, he further said that under the new provision, capital gain has been standardised and made easier.

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“Apart from this, sections like penalty prosecution have been decriminalised and tax assessment has been made easier,” said the CBDT Chairman, a 1988 batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer from the income tax cadre.

On the new internship scheme, he said that it will help the youth a lot in moving forward and they will be able to go into the field of their interest.

On the ‘Mudra’ loan limit increase from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, he said that this will bring money into the economy and have a positive impact on employment and skills.

CBDT has also issued a detailed FAQs to explain new capital gains tax regime in Budget 2024-25.

–IANS

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In a first, NASA sends 4K video to and from space via laser tech

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In a first, NASA sends 4K video to and from space via laser tech

In a first, NASA sends 4K video to and from space via laser tech

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) In a first, NASA has used laser communication technology to send 4K video streams from an aircraft to the International Space Station (ISS) and back, a feat that will pave the way for providing live video coverage of astronauts on the Moon during the Artemis missions.

While the US space agency has historically relied on radio waves to send information to and from space, it for the first time streamed 4K video footage from an aircraft to the ISS and back using optical or laser communications.

Laser communications are 10 to 100 times more data faster than radio frequency systems as they use infrared light to transmit.

Led by a team of engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, the feat was achieved by installing a portable laser terminal on the belly of a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, which flew over Lake Erie sending data from the aircraft to an optical ground station in Cleveland.

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From there, it was sent over an Earth-based network to NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where scientists used infrared light signals to send the data, the agency said.

NASA noted that the signals travelled 22,000 miles away from Earth to NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD), an orbiting experimental platform.

The LCRD then relayed the signals to the Integrated LCRD LEO User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T) satellite that was mounted on the ISS, which then sent data back to Earth.

The signal could penetrate cloud coverage more effectively with the help of High-Rate Delay Tolerant Networking (HDTN) — a new system developed at Glenn.

Daniel Raible, principal investigator for the HDTN project at Glenn called it a “tremendous accomplishment”.

He noted that future experiments can “now build upon the success of streaming 4K HD videos to and from the space station”.

This will enable future capabilities, “like HD video conferencing, for our Artemis astronauts, which will be important for crew health and activity coordination”, Raible said.

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–IANS

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Starlink now operational on more than 1,000 aircraft: Musk

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Starlink now operational on more than 1,000 aircraft: Musk

Starlink now operational on more than 1,000 aircraft: Musk

San Francisco, July 25 (IANS) The affordable internet service Starlink is now operational on more than 1,000 aircraft, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Thursday.

According to the company, Starlink keeps passengers connected with high-speed internet from the moment they step onboard their plane.

“Using Starlink on a plane feels like you’re on a high-speed ground fibre connection,” said the tech billionaire in a post on social media platform X.

Musk recently informed that Sierra Leone in Africa became the 100th country – and the 10th African nation – to be connected to Starlink.

In May, the company launched Starlink in Indonesia and Fiji. According to Musk, no long-term contract is required to order the high-speed internet service with Starlink.

The satellite-based internet service has also received preliminary approval from Sri Lanka to provide internet service in the island nation.

However, the internet service has yet to receive approval from the Indian government.

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The commercial part has been examined on issues such as foreign investment and net worth, and the technical requirements have been examined in accordance with the licensing conditions in the country.

Once Starlink gets approval, it will be issued a Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) services license, which is required to provide satellite communication services in the country.

–IANS

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Apple takes on Google, launches Maps on the web in public beta

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Apple takes on Google, launches Maps on the web in public beta

Apple takes on Google, launches Maps on the web in public beta

San Francisco, July 25 (IANS) Taking on Google, Apple has announced to bring Maps on the web in public beta, allowing users around the world to access Maps directly from their browser.

Apple Maps on the web is now available in English, and is compatible with Safari and Chrome on Mac and iPad, as well as Chrome and Edge on Windows PCs.

The company said that Apple Maps users can get driving and walking directions, find great places and useful information including photos, hours, ratings, and reviews.

They can also “take actions like ordering food directly from the Maps place card; and browse curated Guides to discover places to eat, shop, and explore in cities around the world”.

The iPhone maker said that additional features, including Look Around, will be available in the coming months.

“All developers, including those using MapKit JS, can also link out to Maps on the web, so their users can get driving directions,” said the tech giant.

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Apple said that the support for additional languages, browsers and platforms will be expanded over time.

The move has put Apple Maps in direct competition with Google Maps, which has long been available on the web.

–IANS

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Automatic train protection system Kavach deployed on 1,465 km of tracks: Minister

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Automatic train protection system Kavach deployed on 1,465 km of tracks: Minister

Automatic train protection system Kavach deployed on 1,465 km of tracks: Minister

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system Kavach has so far been deployed on 1,465 route km and 144 locomotives on South Central Railway, Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw told the Parliament on Wednesday.

A sum of Rs 1,216.77 crore has been utilised on the Kavach system so far and the allocation of funds during the year 2024-25 stands at Rs 1,112.57 crore, he told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

Kavach is a high-technology anti-collision system. It aids the loco pilot in running the train within specified speed limits by automatic application of brakes in case the loco pilot fails to do so and also helps the train run safely during inclement weather. In case of an impending collision, it automatically brings the train to a halt.

Kavach has been certified for the highest level of Safety Integrity Level – SIL4 by the Independent Safety Assessor and reduces the probability of train collisions in block sections and on running lines at stations.

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The minister also stated that presently, the progress of main items related to Kavach on the Delhi-Mumbai and the Delhi-Howrah corridors (approximately 3,000 route km) is as under: optical fibre cable has been laid on 4,275 km, 364 telecom rowers installed, 285 units of Kavach equipment provided at stations, 319 units Kavach equipment provided in locos, and Kavach trackside equipment installed at 1,384 route km.

Further, the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and Detailed Estimate on another 6, 000 route km has been approved by Railways. To increase capacity and scale up implementation, trials of more OEMs are at different stages, the minister added.

–IANS

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