Category Archives: Science

Modern Day Irrigation Methods

Irri1

By: Vineeta Tawney

CNESystems

Irrigation:

  • Irrigation actually means the watering the land to make it fit for agricultural purposes.
  • An irrigation method is the supplying of water via artificial canals and pipes for growing plants and crops in the field.
  • Water is essential for the growth of plants. There are no plants or crops can survive if they do not have access to water in any form.
  • It is, therefore, important to supply water to crops and plants, regularly and as per their necessity. Therefore, irrigation is this cyclic and suitable supply of water to plants.
  • The water for this irrigation gets from various sources such as wells, ponds, rivers, dams, reservoirs, and rainfall.

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Photonics!!!

PhotonicsPhotonics is the science of light. It is the technology of generating, controlling, and detecting light waves and photons, which are particles of light. The characteristics of the waves and photons can be used to explore the universe, cure diseases, and even to solve crimes. Scientists have been studying light for hundreds of years. The colors of the rainbow are only a small part of the entire light wave range, called the electromagnetic spectrum. Photonics explores a wider variety of wavelengths, from gamma rays to radio, including X-rays, UV and infrared light. Continue reading

V for Voltage

Compiled by: Vineeta Tawney

voltagevoltage is the measure of work required to move a unit charge from one location to another, against the force which tries to keep electric charges balanced. In the context of electrical power sources, voltage is the amount of potential energy available (work to be done) per unit charge, to move charges through a conductor. Continue reading

Chandra

Just Chandra!!!

A runway like no other

Since its launch on July 23, 1999, the Chandra
X-ray Observatory has been NASA’s flagship
mission for X-ray astronomy, taking its place in
the fleet of “Great Observatories.”

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the Universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes. Because X-rays are absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, Chandra must orbit above it, up to an altitude of 139,000 km (86,500 mi) in space. The Smithsonian’s Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA, hosts the Chandra X-ray Center which operates the satellite, processes the data, and distributes it to scientists around the world for analysis. The Center maintains an extensive public web site about the science results and an education program.

Regenerative Agriculture – a small overview

Regenerative Agriculture
By: Vineeta Tawney
CNESystems

Regenerative Agriculture is a process of farming practice which increases the biodiversity it enriches soils and it improves watersheds and at the same time, it enhances various ecosystem services. The main aim and motive of Regenerative Agriculture are to capture the carbon content in the soil and above the ground biomass and in turn reversing the current global trends of atmospheric accumulation.
Simultaneously it also offers increased yields and resilience to the climate instability, and higher health as well as vitality for the farming and the ranching communities. This particular system is working from decades of scientific and applied research by various global communities dealing with organic farming, agro-ecology, Holistic Management, and agro-forestry as well.

WHAT IS THE MAIN MOTIVE BEHIND REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

The main aim and focus behind regenerative agriculture is due to the loss of the world’s fertile soil and the biodiversity, as well as the loss of the indigenous seeds and knowledge this poses a serious mortal threat to the future as well as survival. As per the soil scientists, at the present the rate of soil destruction (i.e. de-carbonization, erosion, desertification, and chemical pollution) within the next 40- 50 years we will suffer from serious damage. The public health will be highly affected due to the qualitatively degraded food supply which is characterized by diminished nutrition as well as loss of various important trace minerals. After a certain time, we will literally lack arable topsoil to feed ourselves. Instead of protecting and regenerating the soil on the 4 billion acres of the cultivated farmland and 8 billion acres of pastureland and nearly 10 billion acres of forest land, it will turn almost impossible to feed the world and to keep global warming rate below 2 degrees Celsius or halt the loss of the biodiversity.

HOW DOES REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE WORK

The main key to regenerative agriculture is it is harmless. It not only serves to be harmless, but it also improves the land by using technologies through which it is regenerated and revitalized and there is a positive impact on both the soil and the environment as well. Regenerative agriculture also leads to healthy soil which is capable of producing high quality of nutrient with dense food quantity. At the same time it helps in improving the degrading land and as a result, it ultimately leads to productive farms as well as healthy communities and economies. It is entirely dynamic as well as holistic, incorporating organic farming practices, this at the same time includes conservation and tillage, it helps in crop cover and crop rotation, also by composting mobile animal shelters and pasture cropping, in order to increase the total food production. The farmers’ income and along with it the quality of topsoil.

What will happen if there is a global shift to regenerative agriculture?

• It can feed the world: All small farmers in the current scenario already feeds the world, with even less than a quarter of the estimated farmland.

• It will decrease GHG emissions: A new food system can serve as a key driver of solutions to the climatic changes. The present industrial food system is highly responsible for 44% to 57% of all the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

• Reverse the climate changes: Emissions reduction itself is entirely inadequate. Luckily, according to science, it is said that we can bring forward reversal in the climatic changes by increasing the stock of soil and the carbon stocks.

• Improve yields: In cases of extreme weather condition as well as climatic changes, yields on the organic farms are comparatively much higher in than the conventional farms.

• Creation of drought-resistant soil: The addition of organic matter will gradually increase the water holding capacity of soil. Regenerative organic agriculture helps in building organic matter content of the soil.

• Revitalize all the local economies: Family farming depicts an opportunity to raise and boost the local economies.

• Preserving the primitive knowledge: It is extremely important to identify the indigenous farming as it reveals ecological clues for the improvement as well as development of the regenerative organic agricultural systems.

• Nurture biodiversity: Biodiversity is the fundamental to the agricultural production as well as food security it at turns helps in serving as a valuable ingredient for conservation of the environment.

• Restore grasslands: Nearly one third of total earth surface is grasslands and 70% of it have already been degraded. We can make attempts to restore it by holistic planned grazing procedure.

• Improve nutrition: Nutritionists in the present increasingly insist on the need for more diverse agro-ecosystems to ensure a better and diversified nutrient output of the entire farming systems.

Energy Harvesting (Read and upload)

What is energy harvesting?
The energy problem

Fossil fuels are finite and environmentally costly. Sustainable, environmentally benign energy is be derived from nuclear fission or captured from ambient sources. Large-scale ambient energy (e.g. solar, wind and tide), is widely available and large-scale technologies are being developed to efficiently capture it.

At the other end of the scale, there are small amounts of ‘wasted’ energy that could be useful if captured. Recovering even a fraction of this energy would have a significant economic and environmental impact. This is where energy harvesting (EH) comes in.

What is EH?

Definition: Energy harvesting (also known as power harvesting or energy scavenging) is the process in which energy is captured from a system’s environment and converted into usable electric power. Energy harvesting allows electronics to operate where there’s no conventional power source, eliminating the need to run wires or make frequent visits to replace batteries.

EH also has the potential to replace batteries for small, low power electronic devices. This has several benefits:

  • Maintenance free: no need to replace batteries
  • Environmentally friendly: disposal of batteries is tightly regulated because they contain chemicals and metals that are harmful to the environment and hazardous to human health
  • Opens new applications: such as deploying EH sensors to monitor remote or underwater locations
  • Successfully developing EH technology requires expertise from all aspects of physics, including:

  • Energy capture (sporadic, irregular energy rather than sinusoidal)
  • Energy storage
  • Metrology
  • Material science
  • Systems engineering

Where can energy be harvested?

Energy is lost in every industrial process and everyday technology that you can think of, e.g.:

  • Power stations:All the world’s electrical power is generated by heat engines. These are gas or steam-powered turbines that convert heat to mechanical energy, which is then converted to electricity. Approximately two-thirds of the energy input is not converted to electrical power but lost as heat.
  • Computers and microwaves (in fact all our electronic gadgets): lose energy through heat and/or vibration.

How can we harvest waste energy?

Different types of waste energy can be captured using different EH materials. The most promising microscale EH technologies in development include:

  • Vibration, movementand sound, can be captured and transformed into electrical power using piezoelectric materials
  • Heat can be captured and transformed into electrical power using thermoelectric and pyroelectric materials

Energy Harvesting Overview

All processes that involve energy conversion are, to some degree, inefficient. Motors get hot, as do power transistors, automobile engines, and light bulbs; in each case energy is wasted as heat. Radio stations put out megawatts of RF but their signals reach antennas as microwatts. Energy harvesting devices capture some of this wasted energy, convert it to electricity, and put it to work.

The best-known energy harvesting collectors are large solar panels and wind generators, which have become major alternative energy sources for the power grid. But small embedded devices must rely on energy scavenging systems that can capture milliwatts of energy from light, vibration, thermal, or biological sources.

Since the output from energy harvesting devices is usually small and intermittent, a system must be carefully designed that may include a boost converter, a charge controller for a rechargeable Li-Ion or thin-film battery, a regulator for the MCU and other loads, an MCU, sensors, and a wireless connectivity module. The closer an energy harvesting device can come to supplying the overall demands of an embedded system, the closer that system can come to being battery free.

The most widely used energy harvesting devices rely on solar, thermal, RF, and piezoelectric sources of energy.

Photovoltaic (PV) or solar cells convert light energy into electricity. Photovoltaic cells have the highest power density and highest power output of the various energy harvesting devices.

Thermoelectric energy harvesters convert heat into electricity. They consist of arrays of thermocouplers that generate voltage in response to a temperature differential across their bimetal junctions (the Seebeck effect). The reverse is also true: impressing voltage on a thermocouple junction heats one junction while cooling the other which is the basis for heat pumps (the Peltier effect).

RF energy harvesters capture ambient RF radiation, rectify it, boost it, and use it to power ultra-low-power embedded devices. RFID works on that principle, though by reacting to a strong RF field that is directed at the sensor and not by harvesting ambient RF.

Solar geo-engineering

Author: Banhita Roy

  • It is agreed by the Scientists over the world that cutting down global greenhouse emissions as early as possible will turn out to be highly beneficial as it will be a key in order to tackle and manage global warming. But while looking at global emissions we get to see it is still rising.
  • Some researchers in the present day are looking out for various other research to find measures that could be taken alongside emissions cuts which also includes using “solar geo-engineering” technologies.
  • What is Solar geo-engineering?

  • Well, Solar geo-engineering is a term which used to define a number of hypothetical technologies which could, in theory, counteract temperature rise by reflecting the proper amount of sunlight away from the Earth’s surface.
  • By sending a giant mirror back into space or by spraying aerosols back in the stratosphere, the wide range or number of proposed techniques come along with various unique technical, ethical as well as political challenges.
  • Carbon Brief had a conversation with the scientists pioneering research through these techniques in order to find out more and more about their potential uses or the shortfalls as well as the overall feasibility.
  • Heating up

  • All kind of solar geo-engineering also known to be as solar radiation management (SRM) – are together united by their goal in order to limit the various effect of sunlight caused on the Earth, but it also varies widely in the different approach.
  • The various possible methods are reducing the amount of heat which is trapped in clouds by sending a giant sunshade directly up into the orbit or by releasing the aerosols directly into the stratosphere.
  • It not really of any worth that all such upcoming technologies could somehow theoretically decrease global warming, they do not aim to decrease the total amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hence it will be unable to directly any address kind of troubles and problems which include ocean acidification.
  • As we can observe the research which shows that using solar geo-engineering could somehow indirectly lower the total amount of Carbon Dioxide content in the entire atmosphere by stemming permafrost melt or maybe by reducing the energy-sector emissions as well as causing certain changes to the total carbon-cycle feedback.
  • The main motive of engineering the climate in order to draw a certain limit of sunlight has been debated by many scientists as well as politicians. This debate continuous for more than almost 50 years, but other than studies which are solely based on computer simulations there is very less field research which has been carried out.
  • However, in the past few months, interest in SRM appears to be growing. Last year some scientists who met in a get together in Berlin to discuss the future of geo-engineering. the US House of Representatives conducted a subcommittee meeting to discuss on geo-engineering, along with SRM dominating the entire conversation.
  • But all such interest which have come up has been met with resistance by majority of scientists as well as campaigners, who feel that the all the potential risks of such technologies are yet very far from totally understood.
  • Some are scared that a world which is geo-engineered could come up with its own set of environmental as well as societal challenges, which they say could easily be comparable to or maybe even worse than just a normal climate change.