MH370 searchers check sonar anomalies

first_imgThe MH370 search team is re-checking more than 40 sonar contacts to make sure they are not the shattered remains of the missing jet.The sonar contacts are anomalies found in previous sweeps that did not fit the profile of a typical aircraft debris field but raised questions about their origin.  The sonar data include some contacts that look more anomalous than others although the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which heads the search, believes most are almost certainly geological formations. The search in the southern Indian Ocean has been underway since the shortly after the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER disappeared in March, 2014, with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board while travelling between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. Two ships, the Fugro Equator and  China’s Dong Hai Jiu 101,  are still conducting the search in water up to 5 kms deep.About 96 per cent of the search are has been probed using deep tow sonar but there some areas this technology cannot adequately penetrate. These areas are marked and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)  currently carried by the Fugro Equator investigates those over a size determined by studies of underwater debris fields from previous aircraft accidents.The torpedo-like Hugin 4500V AUV comes-equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system and uses the latest battery technology to allow it to operate for 30 hours, travelling at about four knots.Highly manoeuvrable and with a turning radius of about 15m, it is equipped with sonar and video surveillance equipment. It is generally programmed to search a particular area and the data downloaded after it returns to the ship but it can also receive commands though an acoustic system.In addition to the AUV, the searchers also have remotely operated vehicle (ROV) carried by the Dong Hai Jiu 101  and operated by US firm Phoenix International .The squat ROV — which  is tethered to the ship above by a cable, remotely piloted and comes equipped with video and still cameras — is being used to check the 40 plus sonar anomalies.The Remora III is the same ROV was also used in the recovery of Air France flight AF 447 after it plunged into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. That operation successfully recovered the plane’s black boxes but it took two years to locate them even though searchers knew the position of the plane when it went down.Decent weather is needed to launch and recover both vehicles and conditions have been improving in the southern Indian Ocean after a fierce winter which delayed operations. The search is entering the December-March period providing the best weather as searchers move to complete the sweep  120,000 sq. km high priority search area by early next year.The outstanding search area contains some of the most difficult terrain,  although the AUV has covered much of it in the previous two summers.  While there is still a possibility the plane may be found in the current sweep, searchers are bracing themselves for the eventuality it will not.A meeting of transport ministers from Australia, Malaysia and China decided earlier this year that the search, which has already cost $180m, would not be extended unless compelling new evidence emerged.Experts from around the world met in Canberra recently to review the evidence and a report on their findings is expected to be released within weeks.The experts included  several B777 captains, scientists, representatives from accident investigators in the US, the UK and Malaysia as well as the aircraft  manufacturer and technology companies such as Inmarsat and Thales.last_img read more

South African rhinos need technology to curb poaching

first_img30 September 2015We Are Protect is planning field testing of high-tech devices to stop rhino poaching in Africa.The British conservation group recently completed proof-of-concept trials in South Africa of high-tech devices such as spy cameras, heart rate monitors and GPS trackers on black rhinos. It is now aiming to move to field testing of its Real-time Anti Poaching Intelligence Devices (Rapid).There had been 1 617 positively identified poacher activities in the Kruger National Park so far this year, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs. This implies that there are three incursions each day, anywhere along the thousand-kilometre long Kruger border.By 27 August, 749 rhinos had been killed by poachers across the entire country. Of these, 544 were poached in the Kruger. This is an increase over the 716 rhino killed by poachers countrywide by the end of August 2014. Of that number, 459 rhinos were poached in the Kruger.How Rapid worksThe Rapid unit is fitted inside the horn of a wild rhino. This operation is painless because rhino horn is made of keratin, just like human nails or hair. The data from the device are then relayed live to a control centre, which could be many miles away.If the animal’s heart rate suddenly becomes heightened or declines, it triggers immediate analysis of the in-horn camera footage while an armed anti-poaching team scrambles on a rapid response mission to intercept the poachers at the location provided.The original impetus for Rapid came from the inability of teams on the ground to detect poaching quickly and effectively enough to catch the poachers and prevent the horn from reaching the illegal markets. The reality is that the group aims to save the rhino, not just its horn.Jason Gilchrist, an ecologist, wrote that to achieve this goal, Rapid should operate as a deterrent, not just an arrest mechanism. “This has raised the question of whether Rapid-tagged rhinos should ‘advertise’ that they are carrying the device. But that could simply drive poachers to target untagged rhino.“So, in order to achieve the aim of the project, to render poaching a ‘pointless exercise’, we need all individual rhinos to be fitted with Rapid and tagged to indicate so. That sounds expensive and it is not clear who would foot the bill.”Watch the world of a rhino through his horn:The We Are Protect team is already looking beyond rhino, and aims to expand the use of Rapid to other endangered creatures under attack from poachers, including elephants and tigers.“We need to throw everything we have, from all angles, at wildlife crime,” said Gilchrist. “If we cannot save iconic species like rhinos, elephants, and tigers it does not bode well for the less celebrated animals out there that are also suffering.”South Africa’s fight against rhino poachingSpecies conservation, including the conservation of rhino, formed part of her department’s strategic intervention, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on 30 August. She was giving a progress update on the fight against rhino poaching. Her department is working in partnership with the Security Cluster departments, namely Defence and Military Veterans, Police and State Security, to put interventions in place to curb poaching of wildlife.“As I have constantly emphasized, were it not for the measures we have undertaken as part of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros the situation would be worse, given the escalation of poacher activity,” said Molewa.Their teams had made physical contact with heavily armed poachers 95 times so far this year, close to three times a week. “To illustrate the escalation of the threat, let me remind you that for the whole of 2014, there were 111 contacts with heavily armed poachers,” she said.“In response to this escalated threat, we have stepped up our efforts, which include traditional anti-poaching policing strategies. In this regard, the utilisation of K-9 units, night capability as well as air and land capability, is now bearing fruit.”At the core of this strategy, the minister added, was a wildlife sector transformation agenda to ensure provision of sustainable alternative livelihood strategies for South Africans, which would help to curb poaching. “This strategy seeks to promote inclusive economic opportunities, reflected by a sector which will be equitable and dictate fair processes and procedures in the distribution of natural resources and access to markets, and undertaking of projects that will assist to uplift the financial and economic status of our people,” she concluded.Watch the Security Cluster speak about their intervention programmes to stop rhino poaching:Meanwhile, Collet Ngobeni and Felicia Mogakane were in New York City on 27 September to accept the United Nations top environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth award, on behalf of their organisation, Black Mambas.Both women are two of the original members of the 24-strong group, South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching team. Black Mambas was set up in 2013 to protect the private Balule wildlife reserve, a park that borders the Kruger, and its resident rhino.Over the past two years the team, which does not carry guns, has reduced snaring by 76% in the reserve, saving the lives of rhino and putting poachers out of action.UN Environment Programme deputy executive director Ibrahim Thiaw said the success of the Black Mambas in reducing poaching raised the question of how and where this programme could be replicated.Source: The Conversation and South Africa.info reporterlast_img read more

Enterprise Content Mashups (ECM)

first_imgWeb Services are powering high-end enterprise IT make-overs with adoption of SOAs.But Web Services are also the force behind a grass-roots phenomena being called ‘Mashups’It’s Web Services for the masses.What’s happened is that Internet powerhouses like Google, Yahoo!, eBay and Amazon have introduced Web Service and RSS feed interfaces to the data they manage.  The data they provide is available for anyone and the cost is either free or very low.Mashups are applications or sets of web pages that consolidate data from multiple sources and create unique combinations.  Many of the applications that people have come up with have a mapping component based on Google maps.  Mashup website examples include Platial, a site that combines geotagging with Google Maps — here people can pin their personal commentary or recollections associated to spot on the map.  Another example is Zillow which has collected data on more than 60 million homes and overlays the data and home valuation estimates on a map with parcel information.Mashups are part of a trend towards enabling people to better interact with information available from the net.  Consider Microsoft’s ‘Live ClipBoard’ concept that was recently demo-ed by CTO Ray Ozzie.  In a few strokes, Ozzie created an RSS Feed of Flickr images and piped it into a desktop folder so that the folder would automatically update as new images were added to the web site.More and more easy-to-use tools like this based on light-weight technologies are becoming available to pull together information and for presenting it in new and compelling formats.Most of the mashup activity has been focused on the consumer side, which follows the recent trend for the consumer market to be driving new technology.  But what does this mean for the enterprise? ‘Enterprise mashups’ or ‘Composite Enterprise Applications’ have the potential to feed a wave of Business Intelligence.  The ability to define custom presentations created from a combination of data taken and processed from many different corporate, partner and external data repositories is very powerful.   The concept is similar to data warehousing , but with mashups based on web services, the data is real-time, and the presentation is more moldable into appealing and more informative formats.  It has the potential to take ‘what if’ to the next level.Consider an enterprise application that could pull together the various company-wide data and information feeds to create a project composite resource that might be a combination of project calendar/task list with published schedules, specifications and working drawings from a document repository, related emails messages from an email store, project member availability taken from Outlook calendars, etc.Companies like ActiveGrid now offer frameworks that accelerate the creation of enterprise mashups using light-weight technologies based on Web Services and AJAX.Core to the success of Enterprise Mashups is being able to expose enterprise data via web services.  The Formtek | Orion repository Web Service interface is designed to facilitate Enterprise mashups.  Content securely managed within the Formtek repository can form an important component of any composite application. Similar to the Google-Map-centric consumer-mashup application space, in the corporate space, Enterprise Content and Document Repositories can become a core component of Composite Enterprise Applications.last_img read more

Power bill waiver extended for industries in Marathwada, Vidarbha

first_imgThe State government on Tuesday extended the electricity bill waiver scheme for industries in Marathwada and Vidarbha by five more years. This decision will put a ₹600-crore burden on the State exchequer. The move is among a set of sops announced ahead of State Assembly elections to be held in four months’ time, and marks a consolidation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s recent victory in the Lok Sabha elections. “The reason for this scheme is to encourage more businesses come to Vidarbha and Marathwada and for the region’s industrial development,” said Power Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule.The Industrial Policy 2019 had announced a power bill waiver to micro, small and medium industries in C, D, D+ (State rankings based on the need for industrial improvement) and Naxal-affected areas. The Cabinet’s latest proposal applies to industries not mentioned in the policy. Mr. Bawankule said the scheme has till date resulted in an improvement in employment and an increase in the number of industries in Vidarbha and Marathwada in the past five years. “Out of the total ₹2,17,774.1 crore investment in the State’s power sector, Vidarbha-Marathwada has received the investment of ₹1,57,204.1 crore,” said the minister. Both the regions are industrially underdeveloped. “In the era of cut-throat competition in businesses, we think this will give a boost to businesses in Marathwada and Vidarbha,” said Mr Bawankule. In the 2019 general elections, the BJP and Shiv Sena swept the Marathwada region while losing two seats in Vidarbha.last_img read more

ONGC Dehradun recruitmentfor 61 Assistant and Fireman posts

first_imgONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, has invited applications for the recruitment to 61 various posts at the Dehradun headquarter. India’s largest PSU, ONGC has the status of Maharatna. Last date for application is June 27, 2014.Vacancies1. Technical Assistant Grade-III (Geophysics- Surface): 2 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 12,000 – 27,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a post graduate Degree in Geophysics or Physics and have studied Chemistry at B.Sc level.2. Technical Assistant Grade-Ill (Chemistry): 2 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 12,000 – 27,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a post graduate Degree in Chemistry.3. Assistant Rigman (Drilling): 4 posts Salary: Pay scale Rs 12,000 – 27,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a 3 year Diploma in Mechanical/ Petroleum Engineering.4. Assistant Technician (Electrical): 2 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 12,000 – 27,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a 3 year Diploma in Elecreical Engineering and have a Certificate of competency as Electrical Supervisor.5. Assistant Grade-Ill (Transport): 1 postSalary: Pay scale Rs 12,000 – 27,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a 3 year Diploma in Auto/ Mechanical Engineering or post graduate Diploma in Business Management/ Administration. Candidate must have a valid heavy vehicle Driving License. 6. Assistant Grade-Ill (Materials Management): 2 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 12,000 – 27,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a 3 year Diploma in Materials Management/ Inventory/ Stock Control or one year post graduate Diploma in Materials Management. The Diploma must be recognized by the state board of technical education.advertisement7. Assistant Grade-Ill (Accounts): 3 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 12,000 – 27,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a post graduate Degree in Commerce or graduation Degree in Commerce with a one year Diploma in Finance and Accounts or ICWA (Inter)/ CA (Inter).8. Assistant Technician (Electronics): 6 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 12,000 – 27,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a 3 year Diploma in Electronics/ Telecom or E and T Engineering.9. Junior Assistant Technician (Electronics): 5 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 11,000 – 24,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have completed Class 10 or equivalent with Science as a subject and have a Trade Certificate in Electronics Engineering or Radio Engineering.10. Junior Technical Assistant (Chemistry): 19 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 11,000 – 24,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a B.Sc degree with Chemistry as main subject.11. Junior Technical Assistant (Geology): 12 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 11,000 – 24,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have a B.Sc degree with Geology as main subject.12. Junior Fire Supervisor: 1 postSalary: Pay scale Rs 11,000 – 24,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 30 years. The candidate should have completed Intermediate (or equivalent) and have a valid heavy vehicle Driving Licence.Experience: Candidate should have minimum 6 months experience in fire services.13. Junior Fireman: 2 postsSalary: Pay scale Rs 10,000 – 18,000Eligibility: Age of the candidate should be between 18 years and 27 years. The candidate should have cleared Class 10 (or equivalent), completed 3 month Fireman training and have a valid heavy vehicle driving license.SelectionEligible candidates will be selected for the positions on the basis of performance in a written test and then an interview. Only candidates qualifying the written test will be called for the interview.How to applyInterested candidates can apply for the posts online on the official ONGC website. However each candidate can apply for one post only.last_img read more