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Science & Technology Current Affairs April 1st Week 2019

 1. Tesla builds its `largest energy storage system in Asia`

In a bid to reduce energy demand and provide emergency backup power to trains in Japan, Tesla has claimed to develop its largest power storage system in Asia.
According to Tesla, it has installed a bank of 42 Powerpacks at a train station in Japan`s Osaka.
It can provide sufficient backup power to safely move a train and its passengers to the nearest station in the event of a power outage.
The 7 megawatt-hours (MWh) system is its largest energy storage project in Asia and the fourth largest in the greater Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
 
2. Wipro, IIT-Kharagpur partner for advanced research in 5G and AI
 
IT services major Wipro  said it has partnered with IIT Kharagpur to collaborate on industry-focused applied research in the areas of 5G and artificial intelligence (AI). Research outcomes from this partnership will be leveraged by Wipro to develop solutions for its customers, across industry verticals, Wipro said in a statement.
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur on the other hand will benefit from the commercialisation of the joint research insights and Wipro’s industry expertise. “Wipro and IIT Kharagpur will jointly take up applied research projects on industry challenges related to the design, planning and operations of 5G networks and cognitive information processing for the automation of these processes and 5G use cases,” the statement said.
The two organisations will focus on AI research applicable in the healthcare, education and retail sectors as well as in domains such as climate change and cybersecurity. In addition, subject matter experts from Wipro and IIT-Kharagpur will promote knowledge sharing through guest lectures, workshops and seminars on 5G and AI.
 
3. China successfully launches second generation data relay satellite
 
China has successfully launched the first of its new-generation data relay satellites into orbit that will provide data relay, measurement and control services for its manned spacecraft.
The Tianlian II-01 satellite was launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.
The Tianlian II network will be markedly more advanced in mission planning, system management and operations than the first-generation network composed of Tianlian I satellites.
The satellite is developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
China launched its first data relay satellite, the Tianlian I-01, in April 2008.
 
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Science & Technology Current Affairs March 4th Week 2019

 1. Water found on asteroid Bennu

Scientists have discovered evidence of abundant water-bearing minerals on the surface of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.
Using early spectral data from NASA`s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft orbiting the asteroid, the team identified infrared properties similar to those in a type of meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites.
Bennu has a more rugged surface than expected. This posed a challenge for the mission team and forced it to alter its flight and sample collection plans.
Few of the particles ejected out of Bennu orbited it as satellites before returning to the asteroid’s surface.
 
2. India on the brink of a dry eye disease epidemic, says study
 
For the first time, a large-scale, hospital-based study in India involving over 14.5 lakh patients had found the incidence (number of new cases occurring each year) of dry eye disease to be 21,000 (1.46%).
At over 12,500 cases, the incidence in urban areas was higher than in rural areas (over 8,700 cases).
With a large ageing population, growing middle-class and chronic nature of the disease, India is on the verge of a dry eye disease epidemic, says the study.
The prevalence of dry eye disease will be about 40% of the urban population by 2030.
Since the disease tends to be progressive with age, once corneal damage becomes irreversible it can lead to visual impairment and even blindness.
Early diagnosis and treatment is therefore important.
 
3. GRAPES-3 experiment (or Gamma Ray Astronomy PeV EnergieS phase-3)
 
The GRAPES-3 experiment (or Gamma Ray Astronomy PeV EnergieS phase-3) located at Ooty in India started as a collaboration of the Indian Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Japanese Osaka City University, and now also includes the Japanese Nagoya Women’s University.
GRAPES-3 is designed to study cosmic rays with an array of air shower detectors and a large area muon detector.
It aims to probe acceleration of cosmic rays in the following four astrophysical settings. These include acceleration of particles to, (i) ~100 MeV in atmospheric electric fields through muons, (ii) ~10 GeV in the Solar System through muons, (iii) ~1 PeV in our galaxy, (iv) ~100 EeV in the nearby universe through measurement of diffuse gamma ray flux.
For the first time in the world, researchers at the GRAPES-3 muon telescope facility in Ooty have measured the electrical potential, size and height of a thundercloud that passed overhead on December 1, 2014.
 
4. Smart garbage bins
 
Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has launched smart garbage bins made of stainless steel.
These smart garbage bins will be able to send a signal to the garbage collection vehicle about the ‘fill-up’ position of the bin, aiding better cleaning and lower human intervention.
The environment-friendly garbage bins will be made of SAIL SALEM stainless steel.
These will be installed in underground Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) pits at the Smart Garbage Station.
This will help prevent the spread of stink and diseases.
 
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