|Flush with the successful launch of the GSLV D6 on Thursday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is geared up to add more heft to the three-stage rocket to enable it to lob satellites weighing up to 2.5 tonnes into geosynchronous orbit.ISRO scientists are confident that the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) could be tweaked further to enhance the performance of the GSLV rocket. CUS which failed in 2010 scored its first success with the launch of the GSLV D5 last year.The proposed modifications to CUS involve reducing the mass of the vehicle and augmenting the thrust. The GSLV D6, in its present configuration, is capable of carrying satellites up to 2.2 tonnes. The GSAT-6 communication satellite launched on Thursday weighed 2,117 kg.
By enhancing the capability of the GSLV, ISRO hopes to tap the market for commercial launch of satellites in the medium class category. “We have had a flurry of inquiries from abroad for commercial launches,” says K. Sivan, Director, VSSC. “The successful flight of the GSLV D6 has proved the robust design of CUS and the launch vehicle. It has given us the confidence to go ahead.”Mission Director R. Umamaheswaran said the next priority would be to optimise the mass of CUS and increase the thrust. “With the GSLV D6, our efforts were focussed on proving the reliability of the engine rather than maximise its capability.” He said a series of tests would be carried out next year to upgrade CUS and enable it to handle satellites up to 2.5 tonnes.
“The requirement for commercial launch of satellites in the 2.2 to 2.5 tonne category is very high and ISRO has a few good offers. Once the GSLV becomes capable enough to handle satellites of this class, we expect to net more offers.” With the trend shifting towards satellites of lower weight, the demand for medium lift launch vehicles like the GSLV is likely to remain good at least up to 2025, scientists feel.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have unveiled a new additive manufacturing technique that prints molten glass at high temperatures, layering it to produce 3D printed glass objects able to transmit light.
The technique is essentially a mixture of conventional glass making with a digitally controlled nozzle that layers glass according to designs drawn up in a 3D CAD programme. This process makes it possible to tailor the size, shape, and properties of the printed glass parts. The trick is bringing all the various components together so that the 3D printer can handle the extremely high temperatures required. The Kiln Cartridge above the printer nozzle operates at approximately 1037°C.
Using a technique the team says that it can modify process parameters such as temperature, layer height, and feed rate to customise the characteristics of the 3D printed glass in a process it calls G3DP. The team also introduced geometric constraints, and the introduction of various colours into the process. High-performing 3D printed glass could have high-value applications in various industries, such as the aerospace sector.
“3D printed glass is a beautifully elegant achievement and a significant technological advance for the field,” says Skylar Tibbits, director, Self-Assembly Lab, MIT.
Everybody seems to want a personal 3D printer these days, which is a big reason why the 3D printer industry is poised to take off. According to research firm SmarTech, the industry will be worth $1.1 billion by 2019, compared with $185 million today. New technological advances in how to print, scan, create, and share 3D content are greatly improving the functionality and ease of use of 3D printers for consumers.
Best of all, prices are dropping, making 3D printers more affordable across many markets, ranging from home models costing several hundred dollars to large metal fabrication machines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We are seeing exceptional growth in the low end of the market, where desktop 3D products priced less than $10,000 are being introduced with more features and functionality, at a fraction of the cost of traditional products,” says Mark Mathews president of Airwolf 3D, Costa Mesa, CA. “This is opening the door to mass acceptance by consumers and engineers alike. With improved ease of use, greater availability of content, and a desire to accelerate product development cycles, desktop 3D printing will soon be an accepted and expected part of an engineer’s prototyping and design process.”
A major improvement driving 3D printer growth is the greater range of printing materials available. “Just a few years ago the choices were ABS and PLA,” says Rick Pollack, founder of MakerGear, Beachwood, OH. “Now we have an explosion of materials to choose from, including ADS, PLA, nylon, PET, and polycarbonate. They come in different variations and colors, or carbon-fiber reinforced or engineered for higher temperatures. Having so much flexibility on a desktop, at an affordable price, is a very big deal.”
For the Engineer
Pdf Embedded Media Additional Image
3D printing of a foot bone. Image: Suljo
Engineers are drawn to the wide range of materials, large print volumes (up to 12″ x 8″ x 12″), and rugged designs that use industrial-grade parts and components. These machines are typically used for rapid prototyping and short-run production. For prototyping, engineering can reduce prototyping time by 75 percent by printing parts in a matter of hours, compared to the weeks it takes to get parts using traditional production methods. This way engineers can iterate more designs in less time, increasing their productivity.
“An added benefit is that the cost drops dramatically from hundreds or thousands of dollars to tens of dollars per prototype,” says Matthews. “And when prototyping is done and the design is finalized, an initial short-run production can be accomplished with the machine until the expense of traditional methods of mass production like casting or tooling become justified.”
Many mechanical engineers prefer dual extruder models because they can print the same material in two different colors. More importantly, the dual extruders allow them to print objects with complex geometries by dedicating one print head to laying down a support layer for the other head. “The user employs a dissolvable filament for the support structure, which can be removed in a process similar to ‘lost wax’ casting, to reveal a highly accurate—and often functional—prototype,” says Matthews.
On the Horizon
Improving build speed is a top priority among 3D printer manufacturers. Currently it takes about 2-4 hours to build a component. A company called Carbon 3D has developed an ultrafast process that prints a finished object in about seven minutes. The company claims the finished part “has the same structural integrity as injection-molded parts, due to the fact that its printing process is layerless,” reports Michael Molitch-Hou, editor in chief for 3D Printing Industry. “Through the use of an oxygen-permeable build window, the machine is able to tightly control the exposure of light to prints in an almost seamless manner.”
Wireless connectivity is also in high demand. Consumers want their personal 3D printers to be connected. “Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection liberate prime real estate on the desktop,” statesLeslie Langnau, managing editor for Design World Network. “Consumers can place their personal 3D printers in more convenience locations. Additionally, connected printers free up the consumer’s computer to do other things.”
Matthews says Airwolf 3D will continue to push the technology boundaries of desktop 3D printing. “We are always amazed at how our products are being used, such as printing parts for satellites, manufacturing prototypes in industrial companies, doing renderings for architectural firms or artist studios, and creating prosthetics for deserving children,” he says.
He also points out that, as engineers and designers become more knowledgeable about 3D printing, they will break through the barriers of traditional manufacturing methods and start designing parts and products that use all the capabilities of 3D printing. “This is particularly exciting for the newest generation of engineers still in high school and in universities,” says Matthews. “It will be a much different world for them ten years from now.”
|India on Friday hosted the second summit of the Pacific Islands countries in Jaipur as part of a strategy to expand its presence in the region.|
|· · · · NEW DELHI: India on Friday hosted the second summit of the Pacific Islands countries in Jaipur as part of a strategy to expand its presence in the region. The summit will be followed by the visit next week of the President of Seychelles James Alix Michel, just five months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the country with which India wishes to strengthen ties as it hopes to emerge as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region.
Prime Minister Modi announced a major plan to open a new space research and satellite monitoring station on the Fiji Islands. A satellite monitoring station in Fiji will provide India with an independent satellite tracking capacity. At present, India relies on the United States and Australia to assist it with monitoring its satellites over the Pacific.
The summit was attended by leaders of all 14 Pacific Islands countries, including Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Strong economic linkages and cooperation with these countries is a key factor in India’s ‘Act East’ policy, senior officials said, given the wealth of natural resources in the region. India is willing to assist them in harnessing their mineral, marine and hydrocarbon resources, they said. Both public and private sectors are keen to strengthen and diversify bilateral trade and encourage investments in fisheries, agriculture, oil and natural gas, mining and water desalination.
The summit as well as the upcoming visit of the Seychelles president comes in the backdrop of China’s growing ambitions in not only the Pacific but also the Indian Ocean Region. Modi had pipped Xi Jinping when he visited Fiji two days ahead of the Chinese President in November last year to take part in the maiden Indo-Pacific Islands leaders meet.
While all 14 Pacific Islands countries were part of that meet, leaders of only eight of them met Xi. Some of these countries do not enjoy diplomatic relations with China but have ties with Taiwan.
The summit in Jaipur underlined the growing geostrategic importance of the 14 South Pacific islands that lie at the centre of a key maritime route rich in resources and one of the largest voting blocs in the United Nations, officials said. The support of these countries is key to India’s attempt to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, they said.
Modi had last year proposed visa on arrival for all and an e-network to connect the islands to provide tele-medicine and tele-education besides a Special Adaptation Fund of $1 million to provide technical assistance and training for capacity building. A hike in grant-in-aid from $125,000 to $200,000 annually to each island and a trade office of the Pacific Island nations in Delhi was also launched.
The President of Seychelles will be on a state visit to India from August 25-27. Seychelles is a key security and defence partner for India in the Indian Ocean Region and an element in India’s ambitions to be a net security provider in the area.
“As maritime neighbours, our partnership is anchored in the need for peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean region,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement, indicating the need for stability in the areas amid China’s ambitions reflected through its Maritime Silk Road Strategy.
Modi had in his March trip to Seychelles launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project, gifted a Dornier aircraft for enhancing maritime security capabilities and received an island on lease which can be used as a listening and surveillance post.
Seychelles is of strategic importance to India as it lies close to global lanes of shipping and commerce and is an important base in the fight against seaborne terrorism and piracy in the Indian Ocean Region, diplomacy experts said. India and Seychelles have shared strong military cooperation over the past three decades that has grown significantly in recent years.
India’s Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas will enter Second Series Production (SP-2) next month. A batch of 20 LCA fighter jets will soon enter production phase at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
India’s Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas will enter Second Series Production (SP-2) next month. A batch of 20 LCA fighter jets will soon enter production phase at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. The SP-2 Series of the LCA will undergo a series of flight tests before entering into full-scale production, HAL officials told http://www.DefenceNews.in.