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Antariksham Weekly #06
Workshop on Scientific Writing, LUPEX, NISAR updates, CY-2 Science Papers and Rocketry Movie Trailer
Demonstration of free-space Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)
Two weeks back, scientists at Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, successfully demonstrated free-space Quantum Communication over a distance of 300 m. The Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology underpins a technology that ensures unconditional data security under quantum mechanics principles, which is impossible with conventional encryption systems. Two line-of-sight buildings within the SAC campus were involved in the test. SAC shared a presentation with some more details about the test. The subsequent phases in the QKD testing are PS4-OP based demonstration followed by satellite communication.
Workshop on Scientific Writing
The Capacity Building Programme Office (CBPO), ISRO organised an online workshop on "Scientific Writing" on 31st March 2021 for the benefit of faculty, research scholars and others from academia, especially the research scholars working in the ISRO sponsored projects taken up under Space Technology Cells (STCs), Regional Academic Centre for Space (RAC-S), Space Technology Incubation Centres (S-TIC) and RESPOND.
Lunar Polar Explorer (LUPEX)
ISRO is collaborating with the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA, for a Lunar Lander Mission called Lunar Polar Explorer (LUPEX). JAXA's Sagamihara Campus organised a Special Online Exhibition. The event featured a video on LUPEX. Sadly, the video itself is in Japanese with no subtitles. Still, you can make out a few detailed slides and a little by using the auto-translate feature of YouTube.
The video provides a good animation video for the whole mission to find water on the south pole of the moon. A slide includes new information on the payloads for the mission.
Some of the Expected Payloads:
ISRO Sample Analysis Package (ISAP) by ISRO
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) by ISRO
Neutron Spectrometer (NS) by NASA
Exospheric Mass Spectrometer for LUPEX (EMS-L) by ESA
And five other payloads by JAXA
NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR)
NASA Office Of Inspector General published a report on the COVID-19 Impacts on NASA's Major Programs and Projects. The NISAR mission is amongst the missions which were affected significantly. Following is the excerpt from the report.
NISAR, a joint mission between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is expected to be the first satellite to produce high-resolution images of the Earth that can be used to track local changes and measure regional trends. This data will provide scientists with a better understanding of the causes and consequences of land surface changes, increasing our ability to manage resources and address global warming. NISAR operations are mainly conducted at JPL.
NISAR project officials estimate an impact of $10.4 million in FY 2020 from hardware and manufacturing delays. NISAR shut down all of its activities in mid-March 2020, but resumed limited hardware activities later in the month. Remaining hardware activities did not fully resume until early June 2020. NISAR's domestic and international partners experienced different levels of impact, ranging from 2-week to 4-month delays. For example, Boeing's manufacturing operation underwent an initial 2-month delay in March 2020 and experienced another 5-week delay in August 2020 due to COVID-19 exposures. As of September 2020, NISAR officials reported that all hardware activities at JPL have resumed and are being conducted at near-normal operations.
NISAR officials anticipate a $36 million impact in FY 2021 and beyond. Based on a revised schedule, ISRO's delivery of its radar to JPL has been delayed from August 2020 to February 2021. In addition, NISAR officials anticipate a 7-month launch readiness date delay from June 2022 to January 2023.
Chandrayaan-2 Science Papers
The first science results from the XSM experiment onboard Chandrayaan-2 have been accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters as two companion papers.
Paper-1: "Observations of the Quiet Sun During the Deepest Solar Minimum of the Past Century with Chandrayaan-2 XSM -- Elemental Abundances in the Quiescent Corona"
Paper-2: "Observations of the Quiet Sun During the Deepest Solar Minimum of the Past Century with Chandrayaan-2 XSM -- Sub-A Class Microflares Outside Active Regions"
Rocketry Movie Trailer
The trailer for the movie based on the book Rocketry | The Nambi Effect was released this week. There are so many different language trailers which is very cool. Hopefully, this means the movie is watched by a larger audience. The effects seem to be correct and good. I am really excited about this movie.