Monday, January 21, 2008

Tecsar Launch

ISRO has successfully put Israeli satellite Tecsar in orbit. A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV) had carried the spy satellite. The satellite weighs 300kg and has remote-sensing and radar-imaging capabilities.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Driverless Car Project by GM

General Motors is planning to roll out driverless cars with in a decade. As shown in the above picture the car will avoid collision by using sensors. It will also park itself in the specified parking location.

This is not science fiction.

The most significant obstacles facing the vehicles could be human rather than technical: government regulation, liability laws, privacy concerns and people's passion for the automobile and the control it gives them.

Much of the technology already exists for vehicles to take the wheel: radar-based cruise control, motion sensors, lane-change warning devices, electronic stability control and satellite-based digital mapping. And automated vehicles could dramatically improve life on the road, reducing crashes and congestion.

Now the question is what does society want to do with it?

You're looking at these issues of congestion, safety, energy and emissions. Technically there should be no reason why we can't transfer to a totally different world.

GM plans to use an inexpensive computer chip and an antenna to link vehicles equipped with driverless technologies. The first use likely would be on highways; people would have the option to choose a driverless mode while they still would control the vehicle on local streets.

The company plans to test driverless car technology by 2015 and have cars on the road around 2018.

-- Larry Burns, VP R&D, GM

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

X51A & Hypersonic Flight

Today there is a news article regarding scram jet experiments conducted at the Purdue Univ.

X51A(shown above) is an experimental aircraft to demonstrate hypersonic flight. It is a DARPA-USAF program. The design and development work of X51A aircraft is done by Boeing, while the required engine(X-1 JP7) is being developed by Pratt & Whitney. X51A is also known as the WaveRider and is expected to fly at Mach 6.
Scramjets(Supersonic Combustion Ramjets) are a must for attaining hypersonic flight. The conducted experiments are related to the aerodynamics of scramjet engines.