Researches build robot to sniff out methane at landfills

first_img Citation: Researches build robot to sniff out methane at landfills (2013, August 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Methane leaks are a constant problem for landfills and other places that are subject to rotting material. Such leaks present a fire hazard as well as an environmental problem—some estimates suggest landfill gas emissions contribute up to 2 percent of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions. For that reason, scientists have been searching for ways to better detect gas emissions (generally methane) in landfills—the current method relies on sensors being hand placed in suspected areas by technicians—a hit or miss proposition to be sure.In this new effort, the team in Sweden affixed a Tunable Laser Absorption Spectrometer sensor to a Clearpath Robotics Husky A200—a mobile robot. They also added a GPS device. The idea is that the robot will roam around a landfill pointing its laser randomly around it as it goes. As it does so, it will be able to take measurements of methane levels around it and then use that information to build a map. Thus, to monitor methane levels at a landfill, all technicians would have to do is read the map sent wirelessly from the robot in the comfort of an indoor facility.The Husky A200 is essentially a programmable automated box on four wheels—its purpose is to carry equipment or supplies around in a ruggedized fashion. It was designed to be used by researchers working on various robotics projects and is thus highly amendable to multiple configurations via customization.The researchers report that while they were pleased with the initial successes of the robot prototype, they acknowledge that much more work will need to be done before such a robot will be ready for deployment in a real landfill. Specifically, it will need to be more ruggedized to deal with bigger and the more random nature of obstacles. Also it will need an upgrade to be able to scope out wide areas of terrain autonomously for long periods of time. The ultimate goal is to design a robot that can be produced in large numbers for use in a wide variety of environments as a for-profit venture. Explore further Developing a new laser to detect methane leaks More information: Project: paper: Towards Real-World Gas Distribution Mapping and Leak Localization Using a Mobile Robot with 3D and Remote Gas Sensing Capabilitiesvia IEEE Spectrumcenter_img ( —A team of researchers at Sweden’s AASS Research Centre at Orebro University has built a robot prototype that moves itself around in its environment searching for methane leaks. In its initial testing phase, the robot, dubbed Gasbot, was able to sniff out artificially created methane sources in a former landfill and in an underground tunnel. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

Study suggests reducing energy demand in the future may be centered on

first_imgCredit: Wikipedia. More information: Global typology of urban energy use and potentials for an urbanization mitigation wedge, Felix Creutzig, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1315545112AbstractThe aggregate potential for urban mitigation of global climate change is insufficiently understood. Our analysis, using a dataset of 274 cities representing all city sizes and regions worldwide, demonstrates that economic activity, transport costs, geographic factors, and urban form explain 37% of urban direct energy use and 88% of urban transport energy use. If current trends in urban expansion continue, urban energy use will increase more than threefold, from 240 EJ in 2005 to 730 EJ in 2050. Our model shows that urban planning and transport policies can limit the future increase in urban energy use to 540 EJ in 2050 and contribute to mitigating climate change. However, effective policies for reducing urban greenhouse gas emissions differ with city type. The results show that, for affluent and mature cities, higher gasoline prices combined with compact urban form can result in savings in both residential and transport energy use. In contrast, for developing-country cities with emerging or nascent infrastructures, compact urban form, and transport planning can encourage higher population densities and subsequently avoid lock-in of high carbon emission patterns for travel. The results underscore a significant potential urbanization wedge for reducing energy use in rapidly urbanizing Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Climate change now a mainstream part of city planning, global survey finds Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2015 Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Study suggests reducing energy demand in the future may be centered on developing cities (2015, January 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Scientists around the world are very seriously concerned about the amount of carbon we humans are pumping into the atmosphere, leading to global warming and likely other as yet to be discovered problems. Some are also conducting research to look into ways to at least reduce our overall carbon footprint, if not eliminate it altogether. In this new effort, the researchers began by trying to figure out where the biggest contributors will be. They found that it will, quite naturally, be centered around urban areas—cities need more energy than small towns or other rural areas. But what impact will which cities have over the next fifty years or so?To answer that question, the researchers analyzed data for 274 cities around the world, then sorted them into eight groups based on size, climate, and other factors. In so doing, they found that the best chance of reducing energy use in the future appears to lie with cities that are still small and growing. Larger cities, the group found, are too entrenched to offer much hope of reducing energy use, thus if cities that are still relatively small can be caused to grow in ways that are different from older cities with their huge energy demands, it might be possible to alter forecasts of a tripling of energy use by cities by 2050. They note that most such cities are in developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.Still growing cities represent an opportunity, the researchers claim, because the infrastructure is still not in place. Better planning could prevent urban sprawl, for example, eliminating the need for workers to travel long distances to get to their jobs. The team acknowledges that while the idea is sound, it is not clear if a mechanism exists that could cause such planning to come about in parts of the world where cities often grow as demand dictates rather than as a result of forethought. (—A small team of researchers with members from institutions in the U.S. and Germany has found that the greatest opportunity for reducing predicted energy demands over the next half-century lies with cities that are still in the development stage. In their paper published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study, what they found, and offer suggestions as to how new kinds of city planning could lead to reductions in the predicted amount of carbon released into the atmosphere in the future.last_img read more

Glycolaldehyde and ethylene glycol detected around Sagittarius B2

first_img Astronomers detect methanol maser emission towards nearby galaxy This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2017 Sagittarius B2 is a giant molecular cloud of gas and dust with a mass of approximately three million solar masses spanning across 150 light years. It is located some 390 light years from the center of the Milky Way and about 25,000 light years away from the Earth. Its enormous size makes it one of the largest molecular clouds in our galaxy.Sagittarius B2 contains various kinds of complex molecules, including alcohols like ethanol and methanol. Previous studies revealed that this cloud exhibits a weak concentration of emission of glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO) and ethylene glycol (HOCH2CH2OH). However, the exact extent of this emission remained unclear. Thus, a team of researchers led by Juan Li of the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, recently conducted new observations of Sagittarius B2 that independently detected the emission of these two molecules, and provided more detailed information about this process.The astronomers observed Sagittarius B2 with TMRT in March and November 2016. For these observations, they employed the telescope’s digital backend system (DIBAS) with a total bandwidth of 1.2 GHz, and a velocity resolution of 2.0 km/s at a frequency of 13.5 GHz. The team detected widespread glycolaldehyde and ethylene glycol emission, also determining the spatial distribution of these molecules.”We report the detection of widespread CH2OHCHO and HOCH2CH2OH emission in galactic center giant molecular cloud Sagittarius B2 using the Shanghai Tianma 65m Radio Telescope,” the researchers wrote in the paper.Glycolaldehyde is a sugar-related molecule that can react with propenal to form ribose—a central constituent of RNA. Ethylene glycol is a dialcohol, a molecule chemically related to ethanol. New observations made by Chinese scientists show that the spatial distribution of these two prebiotic molecules around Sagittarius B2 extends over 117 light years. Notably, this extension is about 700 times greater than usually observed in clouds located in the Milky Way’s spiral arms.Furthermore, the study revealed that the abundance of glycolaldehyde and ethylene glycol decreases from the cold outer region to the central region of the cloud associated with star formation activity. According to the authors, this suggests that most of the emission is not associated with star formation and that the two studied molecules are likely to form through a low temperature process.In concluding remarks, the researchers emphasize the necessity of additional observations of other molecules in order to determine whether some other process are also engaged in the formation of complex organic molecules in the center of the Milky Way. “Future observations of methyl formate are expected to investigate whether energetic processes also play a role in producing complex organic molecules in the Galactic center,” the astronomers concluded. Explore further More information: Widespread Presence of Glycolaldehyde and Ethylene Glycol Around Sagittarius B2, arXiv:1709.10247 [astro-ph.GA] report the detection of widespread CH2OHCHO and HOCH2CH2OH emission in Galactic center giant molecular cloud Sagittarius B2 using the Shanghai Tianma 65m Radio Telescope. Our observations show for the first time that the spatial distribution of these two important prebiotic molecules extends over 15 arc-minutes, corresponding to a linear size of approximately 36 pc. These two molecules are not just distributed in or near the hot cores. The abundance of these two molecules seems to decrease from the cold outer region to the central region associated with star-formation activity. Results present here suggest that these two molecules are likely to form through a low temperature process. Recent theoretical and experimental studies demonstrated that prebiotic molecules can be efficiently formed in icy grain mantles through several pathways. However, these complex ice features cannot be directly observed, and most constraints on the ice compositions come from millimeter observations of desorbed ice chemistry products. These results, combined with laboratory studies, strongly support the existence of abundant prebiotic molecules in ices. Color-composite image of the Galactic center and Sagittarius B2 as seen by the ATLASGAL survey. Sagittarius B2 is the bright orange-red region to the middle left of the image, which is centered on the Galactic centre. Credit: ESO/APEX & MSX/IPAC/NASA (—Using the Shanghai Tianma 65m Radio Telescope (TMRT) a team of Chinese astronomers has detected a widespread presence of glycolaldehyde and ethylene glycol around the giant molecular cloud Sagittarius B2. The finding, presented Sept. 29 in a paper published on, could be important for studies of prebiotic molecules in the interstellar medium. Citation: Glycolaldehyde and ethylene glycol detected around Sagittarius B2 (2017, October 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Love to Hate Bollywood

first_imgAs much as we love Bollywood, we love to hate it too. And what better way to celebrate the most irritating, the most frustrating and the most painful moments from Hindi films from last year than to sit around and have a hearty laugh at them while they get kelas. Literally and otherwise!The 5th Annual Golden Kela Awards were held in the Capital on a nice, unsuspecting Saturday afternoon when a group of movie buffs got together at India Habitat Center. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Golden Kelas celebrated half a decade in the industry by of course doing the usual – celebrating the worst of Indian cinema. The Golden Kelas have come to be an awards ceremony not every actor can rejoice but only the ones who have the wits to accept both good and bad that is thrown at them. The best and the funniest thing about this year’s awards was that most of the winners were the top grossers of Bollywood 2012.With over 6 lakh votes this year, the Kela Awards are making their presence felt strongly all over. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixJatin Varma, founder, Golden Kela Awards, said, ‘Through the last five years we have lost all our minds and a lot of our money in this attempt to bring to light the Worst that Indian Cinema has to offer. But since we have lost our minds, the money doesn’t even matter anymore…so here’s looking at many more Kela-licious years to come. We will strive to bring the ‘worst’ to the forefront and remind them to make good cinema.”The top honor for the Worst Actor went to Ajay Devgan for Son Of Sardar & Bol Bachchan. Sonakshi Sinha won the Worst Actress award not for any one movie in particular, because according to GK team and the voters, she was worst at ‘Everything she did.’ Shirish Kunder’s Joker won two biggies of the night – Worst Film & Worst Director.Other big winners of the night were Dabangg 2 for the Worst Sequel, which proved that Salman can sell the crappiest of things to his fans, and that’s why even audiences voted for the Bawra Ho Gaya Hai Ke Award to Indian Moviegoers. Award for Most Irritating Song went to Chinta Ta Chita Chita (Rowdy Rathore) and Anvita Dutt won the award for Most Atrocious Lyrics for Ishq Wala Love (Student of the Year), for not writing the ‘Sense Wala Song.’Voters chose Jackky Bhagnani for an award as the name rightly says, a question that everyone wants to ask him after watching his films, Why Are You Still Trying? Award.last_img read more

Thanks for all the fish

first_imgA big news day and pending work can only mean one thing, a very heavy and spicy lunch. That is exactly what we set out to do heading for West Bengal Bhavan. The bhavan has been quite well known for the authentic food from the canteen on the first floor. Delhi’s probashi Bengalis (non-residential bengali’s if you may) have always retreated to the comfort of Banga Bhavan (as it is better known) or the Ma Tara Hotel in CR Park to get a taste of home. Then there is always Oh! Calcutta and City of Joy in Alaknanda to offer a slightly better dining experience. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’While Oh! Calcutta turns you off with the completely ludicrous prices, City of Joy offers a substantially better deal. But beating it all comes Banga Bhavan, you can sit in the air-conditioned interiors and enjoy your fill of Bengali food along with very good service. While the canteen was handled by the bhavan only recently the well-known catering unit Bijoligrill has taken over, updating the service immensely. The regular section where the residents of the bhavan can have meals at subsidised rates still exists but a section has been completely redone to give the feel of a nice cozy restaurant. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe menu is a fish lover’s delight – right from the crabs and the prawns and the monsoon special Hilsa – you will instinctively reach out for a well made fish fry. We decided to take the path oft not taken and ordered Mutton Cutlets. We wanted to savour the fish later. The cutlets were quite good and while we debated whether we should order round two, the Prawn Kabiraji came in. Basically a prawn cutlet fried in a thick layer of eggs is quite heavy, but sadly we were left disappointed. The prawns were not marinated enough and the coating, which is supposed to be light and fluffy was very oily and heavy on the tongue. The Chicken Kosha did not do justice to the expectations we had off it and compared rather poorly to the fish. Both the Fish Kalia and the Ilish Bhapa were perfect to say the least. The fish was fresh and the gravy perfect, not to spicy but full of taste. The Ilish was a part of the special monsoon Hilsa festival that is on in the bhavan and might not be easily available throughout the year – but all other items on the menu are. Including the much loved Luchi and Alurdom. We tucked in the last bits of rice ruing that we just did not have place for that! Next time we promise!The ever famous rosogolla and mishti doi (sweet curd) ended our meal and we were totally ready for the afternoon siesta. But as luck would have it – office calls! While all the items in the menu will not blow you away, they have their spectacular hits and more than anything – eating at Banga Bhavan is definite value for money. We are going back again for sure!last_img read more

Striking a classical chord

first_imgAs an amalgamation of the four major classical dance forms of India – Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi and Sattriya – Mudra (classical dance society) Shree was held at Stein Auditorium, IHC. The act was presented by the students of Lady Shri Ram College For Women and  choreographed by the  renowned Kathak exponent Vidha Lal.Shree attempted to portray the true strength and grit of women in our much celebrated mythological epics and texts, focusing namely on – Radha, Draupadi, Meera, Urmila and Chitrangada. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Odissi depicted the life of Urmila, the untold story of her sacrifice, how she was the most ideal wife and a devoted daughter in law. Sattriya  portrayed Meera Bai, the ardent follower and devotee of Lord Krishna. Kathak  showcased Radha, the most beautiful of all goddesses. Bharatanatyam sculpted the story of Draupadi, the one who emerged from fire, was volcanic and could reduce her enemies to ashes. The concluding finale, which was an amalgam of all the dance forms, portrayed Chitrangada, the warrior princess of Manipur. It was not only an event showcasing the eminence of women empowerment, but was also an attempt to contribute to the promotion and celebration of performing arts. It is an attempt to bring alive the country’s rich heritage with aesthetics of dance and music. The evening also had the following performances – Sattriya recital  by Anita Sharma and Aarhie Kaushak, Instrumental recital by Amar Sangam and Kathak recital by Vidha Lal.last_img read more

Transport dept comes up with autorickshaw policy draft

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to regularise plying of auto-rickshaws, the state Transport department has come up with the draft notification of the auto-rickshaw policy.It may be recalled that the state Transport department had decided to frame a policy of which a major part is route rationalisation, a mechanism to fix fares of a particular route and initiatives to solve the existing problem related to plying of unregistered auto-rickshaws.A high-power committee was also formed to frame the policy and a draft of the auto-rickshaw policy has been framed. In a meeting held on Wednesday at Nazrul Manch, the draft of the policy has been distributed among representatives of auto-rickshaw unions. Transport and Environment minister Suvendu Adhikari and Additional Chief Secretary of transport department Alapan Bandyopadhyay along with other concerned officials were present in the meeting. The unions and the concerned authorities have been directed to submit their feedback after going through the draft policy by mid July. They have to submit their feedback in a written format at the office of the state Transport department. After bringing in necessary changes, if required, following the feedback of the stakeholders, the final notification declaring the auto-rickshaw policy will be issued. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAs per the draft policy, no auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate on any unauthorised route. Ferrying of excess passengers than permitted level will not be allowed. Driver cannot use mobile phones while driving and loud sound systems will not be allowed to be installed. No high power LED lights will be allowed in front of the auto-rickshaws. The most important one is that auto-rickshaw drivers cannot charge exorbitantly. Moreover, without offer letters, auto-rickshaw cannot be sold out. It may be mentioned that officials of the department had received reports regarding operations of unauthorised auto-rickshaws without registrations or permit, which is required under the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act 1988.last_img read more

Allwomen cop team shines on first day at work arrests 6 for

first_imgKolkata: “The Winners”, a special all-women patrolling team set up to combat and prevent incidents of molestation and eve-teasing in the city, has become successful on the very first day of their work with the arrest of six persons from the area around Victoria Memorial Hall for harassing women.Kolkata Police have introduced the special team which will be patrolling different parts of the city to ensure safety and security of women. On the first day itself, the attempt of Kolkata Police has become successful as the women police on scooters reached near Victoria Memorial Hall after receiving information that some people were harassing some women. Soon after reaching the spot, they arrested six persons harassing women. They also informed the local police station and a police van was also sent to the spot in which the arrested persons were taken to the nearest police station. It was on Wednesday when the team of “The Winners” initiated their journey from Lalbazar in presence of Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Police and other senior police officers. The women police are also deployed to patrol in different locations including Rabindra Sadan crossing, Elgin Road, Park Street, Esplanade, Shyambazar and Gariahat.last_img read more

Govt removes flower tubs from Vidyasagar Setu to reduce load

first_imgKolkata: The work to remove flower tubs from Vidyasagar Setu has been initiated on Friday following direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The decision to remove the flower tubs was taken to reduce load on the bridge and the move has come following the incident of a portion of Majerhat Bridge collapsing on Tuesday.It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister had given the direction on Thursday to remove the flower tubs from Vidyasagar Setu to reduce load on it. The flower tubs had been placed as a part of a beautification project of the state government. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to an official, each of the flower tubs contains a huge quantity of soil and they become heavier when the plants are watered, which is done twice every day. Now, in a bid to avoid unnecessary load on the bridge, the decision has been taken to remove the flower tubs.The work to remove the tubs continued till evening and according to the officials, steps were taken to remove all the tubs as early as possible. Cranes were engaged to load the flower tubs on trucks to take them away from the bridge. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that flower tubs had also been placed on Maa Flyover earlier. Later, the tubs were removed for the same reason.A senior state government official said: “The flower tubs on bridges and flyovers increase their beauty. But we have to give priority to the longevity of the bridge.”This comes at the time when the Chief Minister has directed to take necessary steps to avoid recurrence of the incident that took place at Majerhat on September 4, which claimed three lives and left 24 injured. Soon after the incident, the state government has taken necessary steps to check the health of all bridges in the state.last_img read more

Brain injury can alter parentchild relationships

first_imgAn incidence of brain injury in a child can have adverse effects on the quality of relationships shared between the parent and the child, finds a study.The findings revealed that concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is particularly high in the preschool years—up to around 2 per cent of children aged 0 to 5 years per year. “The young brain is particularly vulnerable to injury because the skull is still thin and malleable. In the months following the injury, one of the first visible signs of social difficulties in young children is a decline in their relationship with their parents,” said one of the researchers, Miriam Beauchamp, professor at University of Montreal in Canada. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Given the relatively limited social and cognitive skills of preschoolers, a concussion at this age can slow the development of new abilities, for example, certain communication skills. “It may be due to specific neurological mechanisms, to changes in parenting, or to stress caused by the injury,” said lead author Gabrielle Lalonde, doctoral student at University of Montreal. The study published in the Journal of Neuropsychology, aims to assess the quality of parent-child interactions six months post-injury. The team recruited a group of 130 children aged between 18 months and 60 months and divided them into three categories: children with concussion, children with orthopedic injury (usually a fracture or sprain of the arm or leg) but no concussion, and a control group of non-injured children.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe results revealed that the quality of parent-child interactions of injured children following concussion was significantly reduced compared to non-injured children. Parents should monitor behavioural changes in their child in the weeks that follow the trauma and adjust accordingly during this period.“If, as parents, you notice the effects of the accident on your own psychological state, or behavioural changes in your child that make them interact differently and that persist more than a few weeks, you should talk to your family doctor or a neuropsychologist,” Beauchamp suggested.last_img read more