Launched in 2019, Chandrayaan-2 was India's second mission to the moon. After various attempts to partner with other space agencies, it was decided that Chandrayaan-2 would be purely based on home-grown technology. Chandrayaan-2 comprises of an orbiter which performs mapping from an altitude of 100 kilometres (62 miles), a lander (Vikram) which was meant to make a soft landing on the lunar surface, send out the rover (Pragyan) and land near Moon’s South Pole, a triumph not accomplished before by any other mission.
The principal purpose of Chandrayaan-2 was to exhibit the capacity to soft-land on the lunar surface and work a robotic rover on the surface. The mission carried 13 Indian scientific instruments for experiments to determine lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.
Chandrayaan-2 stack was first put in an Earth parking orbit of 170 km perigee and 40,400 km apogee by the launch vehicle. It then performed orbit-raising operations followed by trans-lunar injection using its own power.
A NASA instrument for Laser ranging was carried by the mission as a mark of cooperation between the two space agencies. The collaboration included the use of Deep Space Network of NASA for navigation and guidance.
A BOT NAMED WISDOM
Chandrayaan-2's Rover was a 6-wheeled robotic vehicle named Pragyan. The word translates literally as wisdom. The name is aptly given to the robot made to study the moon, which is said to be the oldest undisturbed record of the history of our solar system. It was capable of generating 50 W of energy using solar power, which would be enough to sustain its basic functions.
While there were several setbacks while communicating with the lander, the mission is still considered successful as the orbiter was able to record important information and will remain operational for 7 years.
Archimedes’ screw system is used to pump the batter onto the hot plate. The principles of a side-stand of a motorcycle are put to practice when the machine has to interchange from spreading batter to peeling the cooked Dosa.
Similarly, Rotimatic is a robotic roti maker manufactured by Zimplistic. It is the world's first and fully automatic flatbread maker that makes rotis, chapatis, puris, pizza bases, and tortillas in less than 90 seconds.
Introduced to the world during CES 2019, BreadBot by Wilkinson Baking Company is another robot that can mix, form, proof and bake ten loaves of bread an hour.
Mukunda Foods is reportedly the first company to install a dosa making machine inside a naval ship, INS Jyoti.
Arya is an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle or AUV. The team that worked on this project consists of undergraduate students of the Delhi Technological University (DTU) in India from varied multidisciplinary backgrounds.
The AUV's mechanical system includes the watertight hulls and the structural framework that house the on-board electronic system. The rationale that has been provided behind this design methodology is to design a stable vehicle that has positive buoyancy and can help in operating as well as modeling the AUV’s control system.
This is accomplished by ensuring the desired aspect ratio of the hydrodynamic stability as well as placing all the components optimally to maintain the required positions of buoyancy and the centre of gravity. In addition to that, the AUV also has an open-frame structure so that it can reduce the drag force it experiences effectively. It is also noteworthy that the AUV has an acrylic framework that supports all its subsystems robustly.
ARYA’s cut-off circuit has also been designed with the safety of electronic circuits and batteries in mind. It consists of MOSFETs, diodes, relays, and comparators. The diodes in the circuit are employed to prevent back current from entering the batteries. Also, two comparators are employed to keep the battery voltage of the AUV between the minimum threshold and the maximum.
Tools of introspection
ARYA’s design can be regarded as the result of a commitment and dedication to develop a robust yet compact and lightweight vehicle. It meets the industrial standards when it comes to its eco-friendliness and safety to function effectively in shallow water as well as a 5-25 meters depth range.
ARYA’s development offers a favorable platform for future advancements by improvising parts of the vehicle. For instance, by integrating different advanced sensors to enhance the application of the AUV in detecting and monitoring the marine structures and habitat.
An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), also known as an Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle, are elements of a UAS or an Unmanned Aircraft System. These systems comprise a ground-based controller, a UAV as well as a system of communication that is carried out between the two. The flight of these UAVs might function with different degrees of autonomy. They can either be controlled by a human operator using a remote control or by onboard computers autonomously.
As opposed to crewed aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles were used originally for missions that were too dirty, dangerous or dull for humans. These UAVs mostly originated in military applications initially. Today, their use has expanded to scientific, commercial, agricultural, recreational as well as a host of other applications.
These UAVs are also used for policing and surveillance, aerial photography, drone racing, and product deliveries. In fact, civilian UAVs now outnumber military UAVs vastly.
The Predator has a length of 8 meters as well as a wingspan of 12.5 meters. It can fly at 130 km per hour. Moreover, it has an endurance of a good 24 hours. Along with its infrared and visible television, it also carries passive electronic sensors and a synthetic aperture radar. In the same vein, it can even carry anti-tank missiles. Its sensor outputs and control inputs are transmitted through communications satellites. Hence, the Predator was a significant achievement for the US during that time.
Avniel is another impressive UAV as far as its technical specifications are concerned. The features of Avniel include human tracking, autonomous landing, autonomous takeoff by following the given waypoints, autonomous payload delivery and human detection over 100 ft. Moreover, it has an aluminum and birch wood framework.
This drone or UAV, in addition to all the others, promise some interesting and useful applications in a number of fields and industries across the globe.
The DRDO Netra can be defined as an Indian autonomous and lightweight UAV used for reconnaissance and surveillance operations. It has been developed jointly by the Research and Development Establishment (R&DE) of the Defence Research and Development Organization and a private firm based in Mumbai known as IdeaForge.
The Netra can be defined as a lightweight UAV built using carbon fiber composites that use quadcopters to control and provide lift. Moreover, it has absolutely no moving parts besides its motors, transmissions, and rotors. Hence, it needs very low maintenance.
The Netra also comprises a military-grade controller, communication systems, a power supply as well as a handheld operator console.
NETRA IN NUMBERS
The Netra can also be launched easily from a small clearing. It has the ability to fly a distance of more than 2.5 km when measured from its take-off point.
The UAV’s operational altitude is 200 m. Using an on-board wireless transmitter, the Netra can also carry out surveillance single-handedly in an area of 1.5 km LOS or Line of Sight at the altitude of 300 m and for half an hour with merely a single battery charge.
The UAV also has a CCD camera of high resolution with a zoom and pan/tilt in order to facilitate wider surveillance as well as a thermal camera for visibility during night operations.
StudSat is essentially a CubeSat satellite designed by a group of engineering students from different parts of India. StudSat-1 is a miniaturized, picosatellite launched successfully on July 12th, 2010 into the synchronous orbit of the sun from the Satish Dhawan Space Center.
The objective of the mission was for students to get hands-on experience of the fabrication, realization, and design of a real space mission at minimum cost. The mission was largely experimental in nature, and lasted for six months. StudSat-1 can easily be called the first picosatellite as well as the smallest one launched by the country or any Indian organization for that matter.
SMALL BUT POWERFUL
Today, StudSat is placed successfully in the orbit of the sun. It even received its first signal on July 12th, 2010 at 11:07 IST. The satellite largely resembles a small rectangular cube. Its dimensions are 10 cm x 10 cm x 13.5 cm.
The Satellite performs the application of a remote-sensing satellite. It takes pictures of earth's surface with a 90-meter resolution. Besides, the satellite also consists of a host of subsystems such as a mechanical structure, a communication subsystem, Payload (Camera), a distribution and power generation subsystem, as well as an on-board control and determination subsystem.
A Ground Station has also been designed to communicate effectively with the satellite. NMIT established this Ground Station or the NASTRAC (Nitte Amateur Satellite Tracking Center). It has been inaugurated by ISRO’s chairman, Dr. K. Radhakrishnan.
Bengaluru-based private aerospace firm Team Indus is part of a consortium that has bagged a contract from US space agency NASA to design and build a lander for its next lunar mission in 2020.
A RAY OF HOPE
The lander was initially code-named HHK1, and their single rover is called ECA, a shortened form for Ek Choti si Asha (A Small Hope). The spacecraft has a liquid rocket engine with a thrust capability of 440 N for deceleration, and sixteen small 22 N thrusters for finer orbital maneuvers and attitude control (orientation). Then the lander would perform a soft landing at a location yet to be determined.
In late 2018, Team Indus (Axiom Research Labs) partnered with OrbitBeyond and won a NASA CLPS award to land several commercial payloads on the Moon. The lander was renamed Z-01 and is planned to be launched in the third-quarter of 2020, possibly on a Falcon 9 rocket and land at Mare Imbrium (29.52º N 25.68º W).
Established in 2010 by Rahul Narayana, Team Indus was a finalist for the $30 million Google XPrize Lunar Prize competition.
Group Indus has the support of Infosys, Ratan Tata and Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal.