Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs February 3rd Week 2016
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) Android app MyShake helps your phone to detect earthquakes.
  • University of California, Berkeley scientists have developed an Android app that can detect earthquakes using smart phones, Called MyShake.
  • It is available in the Google Play Store.
  • MyShake utilizes the motion sensors of a Smartphone to identify indications of tremors and merge the signs with the data collected from other users.
  • The smartphone user is connected to a crowd sourced seismic station network and they are able to substantiate an earthquake simply by keeping their phone turned on.
  • The scientists have designed the app in such a way that it can analyse various levels of vibrations picked up by a Smartphone’s inbuilt accelerometer to determine the size and threat of earthquakes. 
2) Ringing Bells to launch India’s cheapest sub Rs. 251 smartphone.
  • Domestic handset maker Ringing Bells, Noida-based company will launch India`s most affordable smartphone for under Rs. 251.
  • And move that is set to disrupt the booming handset market in the country.
  • The launch is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for “empowering India to the last person, transforming India’s growth story”, the Noida-based company.
  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar to launch the smartphone ‘Freedom 251’.
About Freedom 251:
  1. The phone will be popularly priced at under Rs. 500.
  2. The 3G handset, Freedom 251, features a 4-inch display, Qualcomm 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 1 GB RAM.
  3. The Android Lollipop-based handset will have an onboard storage of 8 GB with support for expandable memory of up to 32 GB.
  4. It features a 3.2-MP rear and a 0.3-MP front facing camera and a 1,450-mAh battery.
3) Indian origin scientist discovers fast Tin Monoxide conductor to replace silicon.
  • Engineers belonging to the University of Utah, the USA, discovered a new kind of 2D semiconducting material for electronics
  • That is made up of the elements tin and oxygen or tin monoxide (SnO).
  • The discovery was made by a team of engineers led by Indian-Orgin Ashutosh Tiwari.
  • SnO is a new kind of 2D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that consumes less power.
  • SnO semiconductor is made of the two elements tin and oxygen. It is first stable P-type 2D semiconductor material ever in existence.
  • It is a layer of 2D material with thickness of only one atom and consumes less power.
  • It has ability to allow electrical charges to move through it much faster (100 times) than conventional 3D materials such as silicon. 
4) Prithvi-II missile successfully test-fired from Chandipur.
  • Indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile was successfully test fired from the Chandipur, off Odisha coast.
Test: It was conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) and was monitored by the scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The missile test was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR). The test has met all its mission objectives.
About Prithvi-II missile:
Prithvi-II missile is the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).
Range: It is surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km.
Warheads: It is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads.
It is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines and uses advanced inertial guidance system along with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target precisely.
Variants: Prithvi-I for the Indian Army, Prithvi-II for the Indian Air Force, and Dhanush Missile for Indian Navy.
Haryana, South Korean state to collaborate on tech, development.
South Korean state of Chungcheongbuk and Haryana agreed to enter into a sister-statehood relationship for development.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar accepted the proposal for such a relationship made by a visiting South Korean delegation.
South Korean state is also looking to have a close relationship with Haryana in the field of technology.
Haryana government also invited South Korean investors and businesses to the 2016 Happening Haryana Global Investors Summit.
5) Japan launches Astro-H satellite to study black holes.
  • Japan successfully launched a jointly developed space observation satellite tasked with studying mysterious black holes.
  • ASTRO-H satellite has been developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in cooperation with NASA and others.
  • It will orbit earth at an altitude of about 580 kilometres and observe X-rays emanating mainly from black holes and galaxy clusters.
  • It is cylindrically shaped and is 14 meters long and weighs 2.7 tonnes.
  • It is the heaviest scientific satellite Japan has worked on.
  • The satellite has been equipped with four X-ray telescopes and two gamma-ray detectors.
6) DRDO to conduct captive flight trails of anti-radiation missile.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will begin captive flight trails of a radar-destroying missile by April-May 2016.
  • The Indian Air Force would be inducting the anti-radiation missile (ARM) within two years, following the completion of all the developmental trails.
  • During captive flight trials DRDO scientist will evaluate performance of the missile’s heat seeker, structural capability, navigation and control system and aerodynamic vibrations.
  • This indigenously built tactical missile, developed by the Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).
  • The missile uses dual pulse propulsion system as in the case of LR-SAM (Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile) instead of thrust propulsion.
  • ARM has range of 100 to 125 km and will be mounted on combat aircraft Sukhoi (Su-30) and Tejas-Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
7) World`s first wireless flexible smartphone developed.
  • Scientists claim to have developed the world`s first wireless flexible smartphone that allows users to feel the buzz by bending their apps.
  • Researchers at Queen`s University`s Human Media, Canada Lab developed ReFlex.
  • It was full-colour and high-resolution smartphone that combines multi-touch with bend input allowing users to experience physical tactile feedback when interacting with their apps through bend gestures.
  • And also playing games without even touching the display of the screen.
About features:
  1. ReFlex is based on a high definition 720p LG Display Flexible OLED touch screen powered by an Android 4.4 “KitKat” board mounted to the side of the display.
  2. Bend sensors behind the display sense the force with which a user bends the screen, which is made available to apps for use as input.
  3. ReFlex also features a voice coil that allows the phone to simulate forces and friction through highly detailed vibrations of the display.
8) Scientists discovered five Jupiter-like Planets.
  • Scientists have discovered five new Jupiter-like planets that are similar in characteristics to our solar system’s biggest planet.
  • The newly discovered planets were designated WASP-119 b, WASP-124 b, WASP-126 b, WASP-129 b and WASP-133 b.
  • These planets were discovered by researchers from Keele University in UK by using Wide Angle Search for Planets-South (WASP-South) instrument.
  • The discovered planets exhibits similar characteristics that of our solar systems biggest planet.
  • The host star has a similar mass to the Sun of our solar system but it is much older based analysis of its effective temperature and density
  • Their masses range from 0.3 to 1.2 the mass of the Jupiter, with radii between one to 1.5 Jupiter radius, and their orbital periods vary from 2.17 to 5.75 days.
About five planets:
WASP-119 b: It is a typical hot with a mass of 1.2 of the mass of Jupiter. It orbital period is 2.5 days.
WASP-124 b: It less massive than Jupiter and has orbital period of 3.4 days and a much younger parent star.
WASP-126 b: It has the lowest-mass. It has low surface gravity and is a good target for transmission spectroscopy. It is brightest star of among the five.
WASP-129 b: It is similar in size to Jupiter and has the longest orbital period. Its surface gravity is also high compared to other known hot Jupiters.
WASP-133 b: It has the shortest orbital period. It is slightly bigger Jupiter.
9) Tata unveils first ever India-made Robot `Brabo`.
  • TAL Manufacturing Solutions, a Tata Group company, is all set to launch first India-made robot Tata Brabo in the next two months.
  • Dubbed ‘Tata Brabo’, the robot has been showcased in the Make in India week in Mumbai.
  • A Tata Motors innovation, Brabo has been developed in-house by a team of six engineers whose average age is 24 years, led by Bhingurde. The development cost is Rs. 10 crore.
  • The design of the robot was done in-house at TAL, styling was done at Tata Elxi, and manufacturing of some parts at Tata AutoComp, while Tata Capital provided the finance.
  • The robot will be developed for the micro, small and medium entreprises with an affordable robotic solution starting at Rs. 3 lakh (for 2 kg) to Rs. 6 lakh (for a 10 kg payload).
  • There are over 5,000 products being manufactured by India`s small enterprises from traditional business to high-tech products, which may need such robots. 
10) Google`s Balloon-Powered Internet Service To Begin Tests In Sri Lanka.
  • A Google balloon-powered high-speed internet service known as ‘Project Loon’ began its first tests in Sri Lanka.
  • Google’s “Project Loon,” aimed at providing high-speed internet service to remote regions of the world via a ring of helium-filled balloons circling the globe on stratospheric winds.
  • One of three balloons that will be used in the trials entered Sri Lankan airspace.
  • In return for getting spectrum for the balloons, Sri Lankan government will have a 25% stake in Project Loon. Another 10% will be distributed among the local telecom operators.
  • Sri Lanka will benefit on a large scale with Project Loon as high speed internet connectivity becomes cheaper and more affordable, which was the vision behind Project Loon.
  • Project Loon is a research and development project being developed by Google X with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas.
11) NASA finds `Super-Earth` with an atmosphere.
  • Astrophysicists at NASA, working with the ESA and the University College London, found a ``Super-Earth`` exo-planet with an atmosphere for the first time.
  • The Hubble telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) first discovered the planet, dubbed 55 Cancri e, which is only around 40 light years away.
  • It is located extremely close to its planet star, which heats its surface to a staggering 2,000 degrees Celsius making it only known super-Earth with such a high temperature.
  • 55 Cancri e’s atmosphere largely consists of hydrogen (H) and helium (He) similar to gas giant planets with no traces of water and doesn’t sustain life.
  • Super-earths are merely rocky planets that are larger than the Earth. They’re widely supposed to be the most common type of rocky planet in the galaxy.