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Meet Chennai triplets pursuing engineering despite adversity

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Meet Chennai triplets pursuing engineering despite adversity

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) As the world celebrates International Women in Engineering Day on Sunday, meet Chennai-born triplets Dhanushree, Dhanush, and Dhanuja who share a love for engineering that is more common than their biology.

International Women in Engineering Day is observed every year on June 23 to celebrate the achievements of women engineers as well as to raise awareness on closing the gender gap in the sector.

More than being bound by blood, the triplets are classmates of the B.Tech programme at Sona College of Technology, Salem, who love discussing the intricacies of mechanics like Ackerman steering geometry, Beale number, Cotter pin, and damping ratio.

The triplets were born to businessman B Murugan and K Kamala, a government employee, in a nondescript Chidambaram town, in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district.

Call it a quirk of fate, they were born on Engineers’ Day (September 15), the birthday of Sir M Visvesvaraya, one of the most renowned engineers in the country, whose legacy left a lasting impact on India’s infrastructure and engineering education.

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From their early childhood, Dhanushree, Dhanush, and Dhanuja picked up the importance of education and the courage to pursue their dreams.

With their commendable scores in Class XII, the triplets secured admission at Sona College of Technology. Yet financial adversity scuttled their dreams of becoming engineers.

To provide them with a good education, the parents relocated to Salem and had to reestablish their business.

Dhanush loves electronics and is pursuing his dream of becoming a software developer. In addition to mechanical engineering Dhanushree and Dhanuja are also pursuing a credit course in Japanese.

“Dhanuja and Dhanushree are very attentive in the class and participate in discussions. They made friends with classmates quickly and often helped them in their studies. Dhanuja has a natural flair for singing,” said B Renuga, Head of Department for the first-year students at the college.

Dhanuja, the youngest among the triplets, is excited about getting the highest score not only among the siblings but the entire class.

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–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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India, UK launch joint Technology Security Initiative spanning 7 key areas

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India, UK launch joint Technology Security Initiative spanning 7 key areas

India, UK launch joint Technology Security Initiative spanning 7 key areas

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The Indian and UK Prime Ministers, recognising the increasing role of technology in national security and economic development, have launched a new ‘Technology Security Initiative’ (TSI), spanning seven vital sectors, to elevate the strategic partnership between the two countries, an official statement said on Wednesday.

The TSI, to be coordinated by the National Security Advisors (NSAs) of both countries, will build upon the ambitious bilateral cooperation agenda set out in the India-UK Roadmap 2030, and will bring into sharper focus collaboration in critical and emerging technologies (CET) across priority sectors, as per the TSI document, shared by the Ministry of External Affairs.

The domains, for the launch of new bilateral initiatives and accelerating cooperation between relevant stakeholders within government, technology and research centres, and industry to expand and deepen the technology security partnership were listed as, but not limited, to telecoms, critical minerals, semiconductors, Artificial Intelligence, quantum, biotechnology and healthtech, and advanced materials.

The NSAs will set the priority areas and identify interdependencies for cooperation on CETs that will help build meaningful technology value chain partnerships and the Deputy NSAs will review the progress on a half-yearly basis. A bilateral mechanism will also be set up for promotion of trade in CETs, including the resolution of relevant licensing or regulatory issues.

Lauding the existing collaborations, the two countries said that they seek to build on this strong foundation to collectively shape a fourth industrial revolution that improves the citizens’ health, wellbeing and prosperity, in ways which support democracy and peace, the document said.

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In the telecoms domain, both countries will collaborate on joint research on future telecoms, focussed on Open RAN systems, testbed linkups, telecoms security, spectrum innovation, software and systems architecture, and a partnership to boost security, resilience and performance of telecom networks, among others.

Collaboration is also envisaged between UK and Indian researchers in global design and development of next-generation telecommunication technologies, and promoting 6G technology engagement, and collaboration on telecoms diversification, telecoms security, telecoms standards, telecom equipment and use of spectrum.

Both countries will also encourage pilot projects by Indian and UK companies in each other’s 4G/5G/6G stack and enterprise connectivity, connected devices, edge computing and adoption of green and sustainable telecommunications.

In critical minerals, both countries will expand collaboration, work together to improve supply chain resilience, and explore possible research and development and technology partnerships along the complete critical minerals value chain (including exploration, processing, and manufacturing).

A UK-India “critical minerals” community of academics, innovators, and industry will be established, and partnerships leveraged to develop economically feasible and environmentally sustainable extraction technologies for identified critical minerals.

Collaboration between leading Indian and UK research institutes will be deepened as well between the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Geological Survey of India (GSI), along with IREL (India) Ltd, including on Rare Earth Elements exploration.

On semiconductors, the two countries will seek to leverage their individual strengths and incentives, and explore mutually beneficial R&D focused on strategic issues such as supply chain resilience collaboration, skills exchanges and hardware security.

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The partnership will seek opportunities for academic and industrial R&D collaboration, including in chip design and IP, compound semiconductors, etc with a focus on strategically important applications such as powering net zero, advanced telecommunications and cybersecurity. It will also comprise sharing best practices and knowledge exchange programmes on workforce development, and encouraging further integration of supply chains for manufacturing and designing semiconductor chips and wafers, among other objectives.

The UK and India will work towards safe, responsible, human-centric and trustworthy AI, which can promote global good and strengthen interoperability between their AI governance frameworks, as well as cooperate in fora like the G20, Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), and the United Nations (UN).

A mechanism for collaboration and policy exchange on AI applications, and to equip AI researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and industry professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to detect, mitigate and challenge bias in AI algorithms are also among the objectives.

Existing efforts by British and Indian institutions will be utilised towards the creation of a joint Centre for Responsible AI, while a group of experts will be commissioned to deliver a report on specific areas for targeted collaboration to take forward further development of AI and its applications across sectors.

Both countries said they recognise that quantum is an important area for discussion, and will respond to the rapidly changing technological landscape by establishing a high-level dialogue to gain an in-depth understanding of national strategies, and possible future research.

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Both will also have joint hackathons in quantum algorithms and solutions for automotive, life sciences, chemicals, and greenhouse gas domains, entrepreneurship training for translating quantum capabilities into business applications and academic/industry exchanges on skills development.

It was also agreed to strengthen biotechnology cooperation, launch a high-level partnership on engineering biology and share knowledge to help facilitate research advances. Areas of focus include genomics, genomic prediction and precision medicine, cell and gene therapy, biotherapeutics (including bio-manufacturing), smart bio-sensors and bio-electronics, biomaterials and bio-fabrication in line with respective ethical and legal frameworks.

Co-development and evaluation of affordable healthcare measures, including low-cost diagnostics for early detection of important diseases, and novel preventive and therapeutic interventions will also be a priority.

The UK and India will establish a high-level dialogue on advanced materials, to identify specific R&D collaboration on materials/composites and collaboration on research, responsible innovation and standards, as they seek to elevate the lower TRL (Technology Readiness Level) technologies to higher TRL and CRL (Commercial Readiness Level).

They will also collaborate on specific types of materials, such as novel alloys and powders, advanced materials for extreme environments, alongside sustainable materials and manufacturing for transforming foundation industries, such as glass, paper, cements, chemicals, and metals.

–IANS

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