Indian Space Program Discussion

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Postby Rahul M » 04 Jun 2008 20:04

PS> Since I am running a 103 fever now; I don't think I will able to reply decently any time soon if you have questions.


sanku ji, get well soon !!

after you are up and running, I will appreciate it very much if you could post on the technical details that you mentioned in the tech forum.

May be in the IT industry thread.

regards.

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Postby Arun_S » 05 Jun 2008 05:09

Sanku wrote:
sanjaychoudhry wrote:Can't they start building silicon chips for commerical use and break Intel's monopoly in India?


From some in the know; no they cant; not at this stage anyway and given their current trajectory not for a long long time (I can provide a technical argument but that would be long winded and possibly OHT) However Intel is especially into microprocessors and what they are doing is other application specific thingy. In their domain their achievement is very creditable; and really speaking there are very few consumer elec companies in the kind of work that is specified here. Most such work is Govt funded and controlled closely all over the world.


Also Taj Mahal was not built in a day. There is a lot that goes in to attack INTEL's market and make money. Much like many leading technologies and softer skills likes management that go in to make a viable Boeing factory. INTEL is behemoth that is both a leading design house, as well as it is a big wafer mfr with its own process technology for 95nm and finer process technologies.

AMD is finding hard to catchup, the prognosis for Indian corporation to enter the fry now and compete is IMHO not worth the ROI.

For India to compete you don't need a fab, specially when there are cost effective / cheap foundries (many with theur own processes) in Republic of China (Taiwan) and slave factories in the Communist Slave Republic (China). So fabless IC mfr worldwide are making use of foundries and being competitive in the value add domain they are in.

SO I suggest Indian businesses need to play by their strength and go for business that is lucrative and of manageable risk.

PS> Since I am running a 103 fever now; I don't think I will able to reply decently any time soon if you have questions.

Get well soon my friend.

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Postby Neela » 05 Jun 2008 12:36

State of the art is 45nm processors from Intel due shortly.

As Arun pointed out, FAB capacity can be rented from Taiwan, US or China
And right now , most of the memory fabs ( the single largest high volume semiconductor product) are switching to 65nm technology leaving behind empty 80/90nm lines.

Such mature lines are usually cheap to run and you get your products manufactured with high yield right from the start .

IMO , microcontrollers , which I think would be most used semiconductor equipment in a launcher, can be produced in large quantities and can result is large weight savings. The design and programming however has to be done in house or with FABless design house. Designing microcontrollers from start to finish would not take more than 6 months since a lot of IP blocks ( ALU, memory interface etc ) are already available as Verilog/VHDL code can can be bought.

Last I heard about big investment in India was that Reliance was planning a $6 billion FAB
:shock: .
Many startups and small time fabless are present in Bangalore, Pune etc.

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Postby Neela » 05 Jun 2008 12:47

And I dont think a launcher needs the processing power and speed of a microprocessor. Microcontrollers can do the job. Microcontrollers have a ALU, a RAM and ROM and input / output pins.For example Valve control in the engines , actuator controls, sensor input ADCs etc. can be done through microcontrollers.

Typically sensors provide input which are ADC-ed(Analog to Digital converted) , fed to the micro controller which processes the signals, prepares a response, sends digital signals to it output pins, which may be DACed to actuators.
If you apply the above scheme to velocity control , you can see how in the end, the valve control in the engines is done.

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Postby sum » 05 Jun 2008 13:48

Dont the microcontrollers usually operate at 130 nm upwards since they are more focussed on rugged field operations....?
For space applications, im guessing that 45,90 nm are worthless as they wil be too weak structurally...

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Postby sanjaychoudhry » 05 Jun 2008 14:49

From some in the know; no they cant; not at this stage anyway and given their current trajectory not for a long long time (I can provide a technical argument but that would be long winded and possibly OHT) However Intel is especially into microprocessors and what they are doing is other application specific thingy. In their domain their achievement is very creditable; and really speaking there are very few consumer elec companies in the kind of work that is specified here. Most such work is Govt funded and controlled closely all over the world.

PS> Since I am running a 103 fever now; I don't think I will able to reply decently any time soon if you have questions.


Recover soon, Birader.

What I meant was that a beginning has to be made somewhere and these guys have begin to develop chips that are are of much higher power and functionality than ordinary silicion chips. The ministry of information technology should take a lead and establish a consortium of DRDO and a couple of private players such as Reliance, TCS or HCL. It should even provide the start-up capital. (This is how the Japan government kickstarted industrial development after the War.)

They should initially concentrate on micro-controllers and low-end chips for mobile phones, PalmTops and other consumer electronics and slowly increase complexity of its chips. This is how it should be done. The expertise already developed in chip design and manufacturing by DRDO should be mated with private enterprise so that a foray is made into one of the most important fields of technology. The more you wait, the harder it will get in future to make an entry. Otherwise, what is the point if some much successful R&D never reaches the market place?

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Postby Neela » 05 Jun 2008 19:16

sum wrote:Dont the microcontrollers usually operate at 130 nm upwards since they are more focussed on rugged field operations....?
For space applications, im guessing that 45,90 nm are worthless as they wil be too weak structurally...


The choice of technology node (65, 90 or 130) depends on the application speed, voltage requirements and sensitivity.
In general for Analog circuits, you want to sense the exact voltage down to the mV level instead of 0.5 or 0.6V (for example) in digital. For such cases, you are better off with 130nm or even 250nm where the noise in the circuits is not as high the operating voltage.

And 90nm structures are not necessarily weak. Today's microprocessors produce more power in a smaller area than the core of a nuclear reactor. So much so, water cooling is slowly getting mainstream in high end servers. These devices are tested for reliability to quite a large extent and stress and fracture analyses are done quite rigorously.

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Postby Neela » 05 Jun 2008 19:34

sanjaychoudhry wrote:They should initially concentrate on micro-controllers and low-end chips for mobile phones, PalmTops and other consumer electronics and slowly increase complexity of its chips. This is how it should be done. The expertise already developed in chip design and manufacturing by DRDO should be mated with private enterprise so that a foray is made into one of the most important fields of technology. The more you wait, the harder it will get in future to make an entry. Otherwise, what is the point if some much successful R&D never reaches the market place?



Defence requirements are met by SCL http://www.sclindia.com/fab/index.html. at Chandigarh. Most of DRDO and ISRO's chips could be produced there. They produce 800nm chips.

Sanjay, such a initiative that you mentioned will find it hard to survive in market conditions. There are two componets to it
- Design
- Manufacturing.

Designing the chips needs manufacturing support and the fabs need the design houses to be busy.
If you look at the mobile segment, Samsung, LSI, Motorola and Infineon are the big players. They all have years of experience
, patented IP blocks and they have a strong desing teams. Plus most of them have fabs of their own.
We simply do not have the experience or talent pool in INdia in _both_ fronts.
And we should be able to sell volumes competing with the contenders above and generate revenues from suc h ventures.
GIven the current scenario, it does not make business sense.

But I do agree wiht you ...we need atleast 90nm fabs for research and niche products purposes .

For example math co-processors for attitude , positianal and altitude calculations for missiles and rockets _are_ needed by microcontrollers to guide the launcher. I wonder where ISRO sources these?

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Postby Neela » 05 Jun 2008 19:51

FOUnd this after 'oogle search

[url=http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2006/01/14/stories/2006011402140400.htm ]
ISRO :Semiconductor Complex to be centre of non-space research [/url]

((Somehow the link does not come out right )




Excerpts
The existing SCL facility may need to be upgraded with new technology and equipment as "We would like to go for the 0.35 micron technology," Mr Nair said without mentioning an investment figure.

The 0.35 micron (or 35 nano) technology is what the entire semiconductor world is rushing at now, from the present capabilities of 0.9, 0.8 and 0.65. To reach that level, SCL may need a fraction of the $ 1 billion (over Rs 4,000 crore) that a brand new fab facility may warrant.



"We have designed some chips (at VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram for launchers) and got them fabricated in foreign foundries. The results are quite good. That means our people are capable of making such designs. Once the fabrication also can be done in-house, then we have achieved it," Mr Nair said.

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Postby prao » 05 Jun 2008 19:54

Neela wrote:....
For example math co-processors for attitude , positianal and altitude calculations for missiles and rockets _are_ needed by microcontrollers to guide the launcher. I wonder where ISRO sources these?


ISRO used to use Motorola microprocessors for the PSLV at least in the beginning of the program. If I'm not mistaken, ISRO was the only space agency that used microprocessors for launcher guidance and control - it may still be the case.

P

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Postby Anujan » 05 Jun 2008 21:14

sum wrote:Dont the microcontrollers usually operate at 130 nm upwards since they are more focussed on rugged field operations....?
For space applications, im guessing that 45,90 nm are worthless as they wil be too weak structurally...

Sum-ji,
Basically the No 1 requirement for space (for avionics as well) is not structural robustness but radiation hardening. (You can search for rad-hard to get more info). When cosmic rays hit circuits, it leaves a trail of charge that can interfere with the operations. This is called Single event upset (or SEU) Now you might ask
(a) Is it all that frequent ? not so much down here, but becomes a lot lot more frequent as you go higher.

(b) cant you shield it ? no, not even if you put a 1 foot thick lead piece on it.

One of the techniques for rad hardening is to go for bigger feature sizes. Thats why you see that in space applications the latest technology is not flown. As far as the structural integrity is concerned, all chips are structurally very very robust. In the micron scale, materials behave differently and have great strength.

Neela wrote:Found this after 'oogle search


Neela-ji,
I think DDM has distorted the article. 0.35 microns is 350 nanometers and not 35 nanometers. The current gen intel processor is 45 nanometers or 0.045 microns or about 10 times smaller. TSMC 0.25 microns was state of the art way back in 2000 and ARM chips (the kind you would find in most cell phones) then were made out of 0.25/0.35 microns. Having said that, because of the reasons about 0.35 is not bad and is the state of the art in space based applications.

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Postby Neela » 05 Jun 2008 21:35

lakshmi , I overlooked that. :D :D
Was quite funny when I read it again.


And I agree ...350 or 250 nm fabs should be there at least for defence and space applications.

I think there could be some reasons for ISRO buying SCL....receivers for IRNSS?
Last edited by Neela on 05 Jun 2008 21:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Arunkumar » 05 Jun 2008 21:37

lakshmic wrote:
sum wrote:Dont the microcontrollers usually operate at 130 nm upwards since they are more focussed on rugged field operations....?
For space applications, im guessing that 45,90 nm are worthless as they wil be too weak structurally...

Sum-ji,
Basically the No 1 requirement for space (for avionics as well) is not structural robustness but radiation hardening. (You can search for rad-hard to get more info). When cosmic rays hit circuits, it leaves a trail of charge that can interfere with the operations. This is called Single event upset (or SEU) Now you might ask
(a) Is it all that frequent ? not so much down here, but becomes a lot lot more frequent as you go higher.

(b) cant you shield it ? no, not even if you put a 1 foot thick lead piece on it.

One of the techniques for rad hardening is to go for bigger feature sizes. Thats why you see that in space applications the latest technology is not flown. As far as the structural integrity is concerned, all chips are structurally very very robust. In the micron scale, materials behave differently and have great strength.

Neela wrote:Found this after 'oogle search


Neela-ji,
I think DDM has distorted the article. 0.35 microns is 350 nanometers and not 35 nanometers. The current gen intel processor is 45 nanometers or 0.045 microns or about 10 times smaller. TSMC 0.25 microns was state of the art way back in 2000 and ARM chips (the kind you would find in most cell phones) then were made out of 0.25/0.35 microns. Having said that, because of the reasons about 0.35 is not bad and is the state of the art in space based applications.


Does anybody have idea on the vikram processor designed by
ISRO to replace the Motorola chips . I mean what is the max clock, I/O,
special features etc. why doesnt ISRO launch it into the markit via licensees ?

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Postby Neela » 05 Jun 2008 21:51

prao wrote:
Neela wrote:....
For example math co-processors for attitude , positianal and altitude calculations for missiles and rockets _are_ needed by microcontrollers to guide the launcher. I wonder where ISRO sources these?


ISRO used to use Motorola microprocessors for the PSLV at least in the beginning of the program. If I'm not mistaken, ISRO was the only space agency that used microprocessors for launcher guidance and control - it may still be the case.

P



The Motorola 68000 was used as a core for microcontrollers. The Vikram processor that Arunkumar is referring to could also be a microcontroller.

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Postby Arun_S » 05 Jun 2008 22:30

SCL was 4" fab, before it burnt down (when I spoke to the managers who were present then, there were telltale sign of sabotage... but that is another story for another day). They waited on GOI for many years to get Rs 120/180 Cr to rebuilt the building#1. Was never funded. The test & assy bldg was intact and they continued there while the fab was outsourced. Later they wanted to build 5" fab from used eqpt. The last I recall was wanting to buy used 8" eqpt that can take them to serve the small nitch market they serve for GOI.

They were in what would be called stone age in terms of process till few years ago. So IIRC the few 8" tools SCL or Blore got few years ago can can obviously be used for 0.8 micron products and they can transition to finer geometries and if they are ambitious target the final stop at 0.35micron process. There is no way that 8" tools can do 90nm process, so forget that.

Mil grade silicon and radiation hardened designs sweet spot is ~0.8micron.

And yes, ISRO/PSLV intially was based on Motorola, and now moved to Vikram. To best of my crystal gazing Vikram is a full fledged micro-processor and is not a micro-controller.

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Postby Arun_S » 06 Jun 2008 05:24

[quote=http://www.indodaily.com/reports/ISRO_Eyes_Commercial_Launches_To_Earn_Cash_999.html]ISRO Eyes Commercial Launches To Earn Cash[/quote]
-
by Staff Writers
Kolkata (IANS) May 28, 2008
After a string of successes, a confident Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is ready to offer its capacities on a commercial basis and ring in its cash registers, after meeting the domestic requirement that calls for four to five launches a year.

"ISRO launch vehicles are efficient, reliable and cost-effective. Our launch vehicles cost nearly 25 percent less than what international agencies demand," ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair Thursday said.

"We have, so far, launched 14 satellites on commercial basis. Once we fully open up, the commercial activities will increase by four fold," Nair said, adding this year ISRO would launch two commercial satellites for the European Union (EU).

Talking about the restriction imposed by other countries, he said many advanced nations think that ISRO's technology is meant for dual use, and hence they are unwilling to pass on any information in this regard.

"Some of them have imposed restrictions on taking their satellites outside their own countries," Nair said.

Commenting on the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations on government salaries to the scientists, the chairman said it is much lower than what private industries have been offering. "If we have to attract talent, we have to offer better remuneration. We've already taken this matter up with the government and we're hopeful to get a solution," he said.

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Postby Sanjay M » 06 Jun 2008 06:09

Mars mission possible before 2015

ISRO says they are fully capable of sending a payload to Mars


[quote]India has signalled its intention to send a spacecraft (orbiter) to Mars. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has already made an announcement of opportunity to the scientific community, asking them “to suggest what are the scientific objectives they would like to achieve in having a Mars mission,â€

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Postby Neela » 06 Jun 2008 13:05

Found it hard to get information on the IRNSS recievers. Just snippets here and there
Some excerpts from the
ISRO Satnav meet article

he entire IRNSS system will be under Indian control. The space segment, ground segment and user receivers will be built in India. The independent, indigenously developed IRNSS is expected to provide an absolute position accuracy of better than 20 meter over India and the region extending to about 1,500 to 2,000 km around it. IRNSS system is expected to provide

Some of the technological challenges in establishing IRNSS include building, launching and maintaining the satellite constellation, adoption and maintenance of an Atomic Time Standard, establishment of Earth Stations, Master Control Stations, critical safety and verification subsystems, navigation software of international standard, user receiver manufacturing and time transfer technology.

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Postby AshokS » 06 Jun 2008 20:25

My wife worked at Intel R&D for several years in the development of 45nm and left this year after they finished the 45 nm projects, they have since moved on to 32nm and 22 nm. Although Intel has productionized 45nm, it is actually older technology in the relative space of micro electonics. Intel has a group called the Pathfinders that are working on tech today that you will see in the markets about 5 years from now (from 1000 core microprocessors to sub 22nm tech).

The other players (Sony, AMD, IBM) are using IBM's substantive R&D machine to come up with their 45 nm (already done and now in production) and also the 32nm and 22nm techs.

This is a heavily R&D investment business, if India wants to be in the Semiconductor R&D business, then they need to make the investments annually. Not the typically Indian half decade / decade planning approach. Babus can't be in this business - they need scientist, engineers, businessmen, and entrepreneurs running the show. What the GoI can do is only build and sustain a conducive ecosystem for semiconductor tech industry in India, and the rest will happen on its own:
- build a state of the art low volume 45nm with 300mm wafer production plant and a corresponding pilot plants for even 32nm tech TODAY - because by the time the plant is online 2 years from now the tech would be outdated.
- bring in significant incentives for the creation of semiconductor courses in engineering colleges and respective graduate degrees (this is a PhD type business not the third rate MCA degrees offered in India or even top of the line BS EE/CS degrees from IIT)
- Offer annual grants to industry and academia alike for newer technologies to be developed
- encourage high volume plants to be built by established companies

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Postby ramana » 06 Jun 2008 22:02

SanjayM, Why dont you first develop your ideas and some of the members here itself might show the way. Let not the way delay you. Thinking should never be stopped.

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Postby Arun_S » 06 Jun 2008 23:12

AshokS wrote:My wife worked at Intel R&D for several years in the development of 45nm and left this year after they finished the 45 nm projects, they have since moved on to 32nm and 22 nm. Although Intel has productionized 45nm, it is actually older technology in the relative space of micro electonics. Intel has a group called the Pathfinders that are working on tech today that you will see in the markets about 5 years from now (from 1000 core microprocessors to sub 22nm tech).

The other players (Sony, AMD, IBM) are using IBM's substantive R&D machine to come up with their 45 nm (already done and now in production) and also the 32nm and 22nm techs.

This is a heavily R&D investment business, if India wants to be in the Semiconductor R&D business, then they need to make the investments annually. Not the typically Indian half decade / decade planning approach. Babus can't be in this business - they need scientist, engineers, businessmen, and entrepreneurs running the show. What the GoI can do is only build and sustain a conducive ecosystem for semiconductor tech industry in India, and the rest will happen on its own:
- build a state of the art low volume 45nm with 300mm wafer production plant and a corresponding pilot plants for even 32nm tech TODAY - because by the time the plant is online 2 years from now the tech would be outdated.
- bring in significant incentives for the creation of semiconductor courses in engineering colleges and respective graduate degrees (this is a PhD type business not the third rate MCA degrees offered in India or even top of the line BS EE/CS degrees from IIT)
- Offer annual grants to industry and academia alike for newer technologies to be developed
- encourage high volume plants to be built by established companies


One has to develop his own sight / power of perception to see and understand things around us. It is not just INTEL/SAMSUNG/SONY that is developing the business and the technical wherewithal to squeeze money out of the system. Its a living organism, not just a GOI body that is funded by whims of largess of individuals to throw tax payers money.

I am hinting at few things.
1.) It is not just nations that are entities that change the course of world. Commercial corporations wield far more financial power than most nations on the face of earth. These commercial corporations have a mind of its own, is built on using right kind of people with right kind of drive and capabilities. {Again contrast it with Dept of Science & Tech a GOI outfit). This corporation has memory (like memory of people in a nation) and it goes out to get what it wants. It is driven by its own support base and its serves that base of people. {Contrast that with ‘for the people by the people’).

If there was a utopian UN, you would find half of the entities there will be business corporations, that are equals to nations that represent political power of people of a geographic part of earth.

2.) Like nations corporations have to be expansionist in its base instinct; protect its base, and expand into other's turf. Like nations (E.g. EU, ASEAN, SAARC etc) corporations also team up or merge

3.) Nations and corporations all fight for the stream of juice called money. The power to be and the key to more power is MONEY alone. foreign policy and weapons are just tools for that money, just like in a simple world technology is an instrument for a corporations. You strip a competitor of a technology (say by Patent, IP or other shitty butty Game theory byproducts), to cut his freedom to compete for the stream of wealth.

Similarly you can strip your competitors ability to foreign policy options (read ability to cooperate with any country XYZ to serve your interest where XYZ is set of {Israel, Tajikistan, Iran, Arabia... }) or weapons {read small yield weapon, light weapon, high yield weapon, AESA, jet engine, .. } to cut your potential challengers freedom to compete for the stream of wealth, by rules, bilateral or multilateral agreements/ treaties/ international laws/ US India Civil Nuclear Agreement / UN motions/ Shitty bitty/private clubs-NSG, MTCR, embargo, national laws to prevent a satellite launch that uses even one screw or IC made in USA …. .. .

If you recall in the movie "Mangal Pandey", the bewildered Magal asks William Gordon his british soldier friend : [list]"So what is COMPANY {East India Company)?" [i]{a bewildered ordinary Indian (RK-Laxman’s “Aam Adameeâ€

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Postby Sanjay M » 07 Jun 2008 10:39

ramana wrote:SanjayM, Why dont you first develop your ideas and some of the members here itself might show the way. Let not the way delay you. Thinking should never be stopped.


Thank you, Ramana ji, I will do that.

Mars being a planet slightly too cold for life to easily survive (equator temp= 20C during the day, but -55C during the night), there is a lot of interest in finding conditions which might help to favour the existence of life.

An Indian Mars balloon could look for signs of volcanism, which would be of great interest to the international scientific community. Geothermal vents could not only be the best spots to search for possible past Mars life, but they could also be used to provide energy to future Mars astronauts or early settlers, for life support purposes.

It now looks increasingly likely that water is about to be found on Mars, which means that there will be a huge upsurge of interest in carrying forward more exploration of what is perceived as an increasingly Earth-like world.

A successful Indian Mars mission would strongly advertise ISRO's capabilities as a launch service provider, and thus enable it to attract more customers, including for defraying costs on further missions to the Red Planet.


[Just as an aside, I've always wondered if it might be possible to reactivate Martian volcanoes using nuclear detonations, so that they might spew more volcanic gas into the air, thereby increasing atmospheric pressure (1% Earth Atm) and also temperature. The fact that Mars' crust is thinnest at the northern icecap region (32 km thickness) might one day provide an opportunity to use geothermal energy to melt the frozen water and CO2, to create an escalating greenhouse effect and an ocean besides.]

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Postby Neshant » 08 Jun 2008 01:16

Unless I'm mistaken, vikram is just an array of 80xx chips linked together like a parallel computer. If that's all it is, then its not anything of great value. Its easily eclipsed by COTS technology available today.

BTW US is reportedly angry with Taiwan for having transferred all the semiconductor technology that was given to that country over to their bros China. You can be sure any Indian entry into the semiconductor market will be strongly opposed and perhaps even sabotaged either by uncle or the chicoms.

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Postby Arun_S » 08 Jun 2008 03:41

Dont compare it with 80xxx. How many people use mil grade cpu or Radhard cpu on their home computer? None.

Comparison of the cpus used in modern satellites vs home computers will be interesting.

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Thorium on Mars

Postby Sanjay M » 08 Jun 2008 11:48

I was having a discussion on another Mars forum, and I mentioned thorium as a potential power source for future Mars colonization:

http://www.newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6066

In response, someone posted a map of Thorium deposits on Mars:

Image

Thorium on Mars appears to be contained in Monazite sands, in the same form that we find it in India.
If we could send a lander to Mars as a technology demonstrator, then it could perhaps scoop up some sand and smelt it, to process it into Thorium fuel pellets.

With India already making a major investment in Thorium technology, then perhaps we could make good use of it on Mars as well, by using Thorium to power a fleet of automated robots that could lay the groundwork for a future manned mission to Mars.

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Postby Neela » 08 Jun 2008 13:12

Neshant wrote:Unless I'm mistaken, vikram is just an array of 80xx chips linked together like a parallel computer. If that's all it is, then its not anything of great value. Its easily eclipsed by COTS technology available today.

BTW US is reportedly angry with Taiwan for having transferred all the semiconductor technology that was given to that country over to their bros China. You can be sure any Indian entry into the semiconductor market will be strongly opposed and perhaps even sabotaged either by uncle or the chicoms.


:D
I dont think even you understand what you said there!! What do you mean by array there?

And just an array of 80xx chips
LOL. Yours is very naive statement to make.

'Linked together like a parallel computer' -
whats that got to do with microprocessors and CMOS technology. YOu are talking about how individual computers are linked together, communicate with each other to extract max performance for solving for example a massive simulatin probelm.

My second run-in with you and you are showing signs of a troll.

Its easily eclipsed by COTS technology available today.
Vikram was developed to replace the 68000..why? Because any semiconductor equipment that ISRO buys can come under sanctions. What ISRO has done is to show that they can develop things on their own and by doing so they send a clear message .

And pray tell me, whats a COTS replacement for a mil-grade 32bit microcontroller with a microprocessor at its core?

MAybe you should read first before you make a post like that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_68000

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Postby satyarthi » 08 Jun 2008 13:50

He probably thinks "Vikram" is some kind of "Param".

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Postby sum » 08 Jun 2008 18:31

Hello Jingoes,
Have got a chance to visit SHAR......however,it seems that non-employees are not allowed inside the "core" facility(am going with a employee friend)
Is it worthwhile to visit the place(i.e, do we actually get to see any "good" stuff in the areas non-employees are allowed near the facility or does it just become a barbed wire and wall viewing trip??)
Any jingoes having similar experience could please help me out?

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Postby Arun_S » 08 Jun 2008 21:36

Neela wrote:
Neshant wrote:Unless I'm mistaken, vikram is just an array of 80xx chips linked tog... .. .. .

My second run-in with you and you are showing signs of a troll.


Neela: Restrain please. Nishant is a BRFite of good standing. Be considerate of other participant.
-Arun_S {Admin hat on.}

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Postby symontk » 08 Jun 2008 22:03

sum wrote:Hello Jingoes,
Have got a chance to visit SHAR......however,it seems that non-employees are not allowed inside the "core" facility(am going with a employee friend)
Is it worthwhile to visit the place(i.e, do we actually get to see any "good" stuff in the areas non-employees are allowed near the facility or does it just become a barbed wire and wall viewing trip??)
Any jingoes having similar experience could please help me out?


Facilities in SHAR are not for any open discussion. I first visited SHAR 25 years back including its important facilities when I was in school.

A lot has changed and so cannot be discussed.

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Postby Sanjay M » 08 Jun 2008 23:21

Here is a further map of Thorium on Mars from NASA's JPL:

Image

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/odyssey/galler ... 04257.html

Again, given the simple monazite-sand form in which Thorium on Mars exists, then processing it into purified form should be relatively straightforward. A technology demonstrator lander vehicle could even come equipped with a smelting furnace into which a robot arm could scoop and transfer monazite sand material.
Last edited by Sanjay M on 08 Jun 2008 23:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sanjay M » 08 Jun 2008 23:30

Prior to sending a lander vehicle, ISRO could send an aerial balloon to survey the aforementioned regions which are rich in Thorium deposits.

The balloon could conduct a very detailed survey to scout out prospective landing sites rich in Thorium sands, as well as Uranium. Thorium sands might be more useful, as they would be more easily harvestable.

This would lay the groundwork for the lander mission, which could then scoop up samples and smelt them into pure Thorium pellets.

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Postby sanjaykumar » 09 Jun 2008 02:44

The Martian atmosphere is approx. 10-2 times as dense as the Earth's.

How big would you design your balloon?

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Postby Rahul M » 09 Jun 2008 07:05


Arunkumar
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Postby Arunkumar » 09 Jun 2008 07:06

The mars express mission is a good role model wherein a lander
(beagle-2) and a satellite was launched simultaneously. I think the chandrayaan-2 mission is also proceeding along the same lines.

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Postby Sanjay M » 09 Jun 2008 07:35

No, the Martian atmosphere is 1% as dense as Earth's (.01 atm)

But even here on Earth, we are able to fly balloons to very high altitudes where the air is quite thin, and that's using Helium as a lifting gas. On Mars with its CO2 atmosphere, we can use Hydrogen.

For Mars, a quick calculation with 1.98 g/L for CO2 and 0.09 g/L for Hydrogen would yield approx. half a cubic meter of balloon required for each kg of payload. But let's say a full m^3 per kg, if we're using a superpressure balloon:

http://www.faqs.org/docs/air/avabot.html

A superpressure balloon, in contrast, has a tough and inelastic envelope that is filled with light gas to a pressure higher than that of the external atmosphere, and then sealed. The superpressure balloon cannot change size very much, and so maintains a nearly constant volume. The superpressure balloon maintains an altitude of constant density in the atmosphere, and can maintain flight until gas leakage gradually brings it down.

Superpressure balloons offer flight endurance of months, rather than days. In fact, in typical operation a Earth-based superpressure balloon mission is ended by a command from ground control to open the envelope, rather than by natural leakage of gas.


But let's say we could use an advanced material like graphene, which would almost totally block leakage. We could have a mission that lasted years, to allow us to mineralogically survey sections of the planet in great detail.

We could get tremendous return-on-investment from such a mission, bringing back a wealth of data.

India claims to be interested in the Moon because of its Helium-3 as a potential energy source, although nobody has yet found a way to produce energy from fusion of hydrogen, let alone 3He. But thorium is a technology that India has already spent much effort and money in developing. We are in a leading position when it comes to being able to exploit thorium. So when it comes to Mars' thorium deposits, we already have technology capable of exploiting it for energy purposes, should the need arise.

So let us think of how we might send an aerial survey balloon to map out monazite sands and other useful mineral deposits in greater detail.

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Postby Sanjay M » 09 Jun 2008 07:44

From the same link:

http://www.faqs.org/docs/air/avabot.html

The other is a "reversible fluid" balloon. This type of balloon consists of an envelope connected to a reservoir, with the reservoir containing a fluid that is easily vaporized. The balloon can be made to rise by vaporizing the fluid into gas, and can be made to sink by condensing the gas back into fluid. There are a number of different ways of implementing this scheme, but basic principle remains the same.


So with this approach, you could vary the buoyancy of the balloon, to control its height. So you could relay commands from an orbiter, to control the balloon, in addition to receiving data back from it.

Also:

A solar Montgolfiere will sink at night, and will have a guide rope attached to the bottom of the gondola that will curl up on the ground and anchor the balloon during the darkness hours. The guide rope will be made of low friction materials to keep it from catching or tangling on ground features. Alternatively, a balloon may carry a thicker instrumented "snake" in place of the gondola and guiderope, combining the functions of the two. This is a convenient scheme for making direct surface measurements.

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Postby Neshant » 09 Jun 2008 07:49

Vikram is an array of x86 processors used in parallel, not a single chip as you have incorrectly assumed. It is basically a parallel computer with a bus architecture linking these independant chips together.

Likewise with Param although param is more of a full fledged computer. The word Vikram "microchip" is misleading.

That is what I've heard about it anyways.

Assuming that is all the Vikram 'microchip' is, its not of any major significance and probably obsolete by now.

You can get military grade (not sure about rad-hard) processors from COTS.

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Postby sanjaykumar » 09 Jun 2008 08:40

No, the Martian atmosphere is 1% as dense as Earth's (.01 atm)


That is 2 orders of magnitude.

http://tinyurl.com/5xa6ql
Breakthrough in Mars balloon technology


Probes in orbit already generate data that may take over a decade to analyse.

I think the problems will be transport, deployment navigation and leakage, but interesting results on some NASA web pages as well.

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Postby surinder » 09 Jun 2008 09:55

Neshant wrote:BTW US is reportedly angry with Taiwan for having transferred all the semiconductor technology that was given to that country over to their bros China.


Any source for this information?

As far as I know, the technology given to Taiwan was given by private corporations, US govt had little, if any, control over that.


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