Technology
India puts weather satellite SCATSAT-1 into orbit
India on Monday morning successfully put into orbit its own weather satellite SCATSAT-1 in a copy book style.
 
In the second phase of its mission, the rocket will launch seven other satellites - five foreign and two Indian - between 11.25 to 11.28 a.m., in a different orbit.
 
Exactly at 9.12 a.m., the PSLV rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 tonne tore into the morning skies with fierce orange flames at its tail.
 
Gathering speed every second, the rocket raced towards the heavens amidst the cheers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials and the media team assembled at the rocket port here.
 
At the rocket mission control room, Indian space scientists at ISRO were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earth's gravitational pull.
 
Seventeen minutes into the flight, the rocket's main cargo, the 371 kg SCATSAT-1 - for ocean and weather related studies - was injected into a 730 km polar sun synchronous orbit.
 
Although SCATSAT-1 is a follow-on mission for Oceansat-2 improvements have been made in the satellite's hardware configuration based on lessons learnt from Oceansat-2 instruments.
 
Also SCATSAT-1's payload has been characterised with the objective of achieving data quality for Climate Data Records, apart from facilitating routine meteorological applications, the ISRO said.
 
It said the SCATSAT-1's scatterometer will provide wind vector data products for weather forecasting, cyclone detection and tracking services to the users.
 
The satellite carries Ku-band scatterometer similar to the one flown onboard Oceansat-2.
 
The mission life of the satellite is five years.
 
The remaining seven satellites will be placed in a 689 km polar orbit later.
 
These seven satellites include five foreign satellites: three from Algeria (Alsat-1B 103kg, Alsat-2B 117kg, Alsat-1N 7kg), and one each from Canada (NLS-19, 8kg) and US (Pathfinder-44kg).
 
The two other Indian satellites are: Pratham (10kg) built by Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) and Pisat (5.25 kg) from PES University, Bengaluru and its consortium.
 
According to the ISRO, the two Algerian satellites Alsat-1B and Alsat-2B are remote sensing satellites while Alsat-1N is a technology demonstration nano satellite for Algerian students.
 
On the other hand, the US satellite Pathfinder-1 is a commercial high resolution imaging micro satellite while the Canadian NLS-19 satellite is la technology demonstration nano satellite for experimentation in helping to reduce space debris and for tracking commercial aircraft.
 
The IIT-B's satellite Pratham's mission objective is to estimate the total electron count with a resolution of 1km x 1km location grid while Pisat from PES University and its consortium is a nano satellite for remote sensing applications.
 
After slinging SCATSAT-1 into its orbit the rocket's fourth stage will be restarted one hour 22 minutes into the flight and cut off around 20 seconds later.
 
Two hours and 11 minutes into the flight the fourth stage will again be restarted to be cut offAone minute later.
 
Following that in three minutes all the seven satellites will be ejected putting an end to PSLV's longest mission till date.
 
The PSLV rocket is a four stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively.
 
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director K. Sivan told IANS on Sunday that the long time gap between the cutting off of the engine and its restart was not an issue.
 
Sivan said the first time the multiple burn technology was first tested by ISRO while flying its PSLV rocket on December 16, 2015 and in June 2016, the technology was again demonstrated.
 
About the challenge, Sivan said: "After cutting off the engine, its condition should be brought to such a stage that it could be restarted again. The next challenge is to controlling the engine and bringing it so as to eject the remaining satellites into a different orbit."
 
He said the rocket has GPS aided navigation system so that data generated by the rocket's inertial navigation system and the one provided by the former will be blended so as to erase and errors and to generate a precise data.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Jio charges COAI with bias, association says internal matter
Reliance Jio on Sunday said the regulations of Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) are overwhelmingly biased and lopsided, framed to subserve the vested interests of the three incumbent dominant operators -- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. It, accordingly, sought their complete overhaul. The association countered, saying it was an internal matter, but not before calling Jio a 'back door' operator.
 
In a letter to COAI Chairman Gopal Vittal and Director General Rajan S. Mathews, Jio said incumbent players command 68 per cent of the total votes in the association and that quorum in any executive council meeting is based on voting power, rather than number of members.
 
"It is imminently clear from the above that the entire decision making power and authority rests only with the incumbent dominant operators. The other core members have been reduced to a nullity and their presence or not will always be inconsequential," the letter said.
 
These regulations, the letter said, make the regulations abysmally fall foul of competition law, especially by extending absolute control on decisions to incumbent dominant operators.
 
In a statement later, the association said the issues raised by one of its members is an internal matter, also adding Jio's conduct is not becoming of a member when appropriate forums are available within the association.
 
The Jio letter said that the decision-making process of the association is replete with instances of sending out communications in utter disregard to fairness, accountability and transparency, even as issues are taken up towards which there is no mandate or power vested in its charter.
 
Among various examples, the company said the association conveyed its position to the authorities on the issue of interconnection between the networks of Reliance Jio and the incumbent players -- without seeking the views of Reliance Jio.
 
"As a matter of fact, on a specific occasion, the association had the audacity to send a mail (containing a draft letter purportedly supposed to be sent to the Government) to Reliance Jio to seek its views whereas the letter had already been sent to the Government even before the mail was sent to Reliance Jio."
 
The letter said as a public body, the association must work for the benefit of all of its members and the consumers, with legally- and morally-sound policies and representation, while encouraging fair competition in the market.
 
"In the light of the above, it is high time that COAI Regulations are amended to fall in line with (i) fundamental democratic principles namely, reasonableness, fairness, accountability and transparency, adequate representation to all members, etc., and (ii) to be compliant with all applicable laws, including principles of equity.
 
"Reliance Jio seeks a thorough overhaul and amendment of Cellular Operators' Association regulations and process by appointing a committee consisting of three retired Hon'ble Judges of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India to make sure that both fall in line with fundamental democratic principles of reasonableness, fairness, accountability and transparency including with provisions for adequate measures to prevent any abuse in future."
 
In its rebuttal, the association said Jio's letter represents many misrepresentations, and misinterpretations of law, which will be suitably responded to after careful review and deliberation among members. It wondered why the company was raising the issues as something new.
 
"Despite repeated and grave provocations from Reliance Jio, COAI wishes to state that Reliance Jio, which entered the sector as a back door operator, was welcomed by COAI as a full member," it said.
 
"Reliance Jio is labelling the established and well performing operators who have served the cause of digital India for long years as incumbent dominant operators. This is slanderous, mischievous and suggests that the existing leading members are a cohort bent upon blocking entry of new operators on the basis of bald allegations," the association statement said.
 
"None of the half a dozen new operators who have entered in the last five years have ever accused Cellular Operators' Association of India or in fact labeled the leading operators as incumbent dominant operators. Despite repeated and grave provocations from Reliance Jio, COAI wishes to state that Reliance Jio which entered the sector as a back door operator was welcomed by COAI as a full member," the statement said.
 
"The members of COAI will review the letter submitted by Reliance Jio and do what they believe is in the best interest of the country, the customers and the Association. The association will continue to work for a stable, predictable regulatory environment which is conducive to the orderly growth of the sector for a connected and fully empowered Digital India."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Australian immigration officers strike at airports, ports
Australia's Immigration and Border Force officials on Monday commenced a two-week long strike in airports and cruise ship ports across the country protesting against a long-running dispute with the government over pay rise, authorities said.
 
Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) had previously said a strike would not occur if the government agreed to a 12.5 per cent pay rise, but the union's national secretary Nadine Flood said workers were fed-up with the government's reluctance to discuss the pay rise, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
"These workers are trying to get the government to take this seriously and give us someone to sit down with and resolve this longstanding mess," Flood said.
 
"Under Prime Minister Turnbull they haven't talked to us in a year."
 
Border Force released a statement on Monday warning passengers to get to airports early, but said there were arrangements in place in case of emergency.
 
"We have contingency arrangements in place to minimise the impact of stoppages on business operations," the statement said.
 
Government senator Eric Abetz described the CPSU's demands as "unrealistic" and said a 12.5 per cent pay rise would result in the loss of more than 10,000 public sector jobs.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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