GPS Current Affairs - 2019

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Himachal Pradesh makes GPS device mandatory for trekkers

The Himachal Pradesh (HP) government has made it compulsory for trekkers to carry a GPS (Global Positioning System) device to tackle any exigency. This decision was taken at a review meeting on preparedness for the monsoon chaired by Shrikant Baldi, Additional Chief Secretary cum-Pr. Secretary to Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister, HP.

Key Highlights

Need: Being a disaster-prone state, it is essential for Himachal Pradesh to pay special heed to disseminating weather advisories as well as installing early warning systems in state. It is also important to restrict trekking and other yatras undertaken in state during adverse weather.

Significance: Since it would be made mandatory for trekkers to carry a GPS device with them, they could now be provided all possible help in case of any emergency.

Other Provision:

Early Warning Systems will soon be installated in Kullu district and Dalhousie town of state.

Towns of Rampur and Mandi have been zeroed in for setting up of relief and rescue base of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). NDRF is a specialised force constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. It is responsible for purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster.

Facts about Himanchal Pradesh

Geography: It is bounded by Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state to the north, China’s Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to east, Uttarakhand to southeast, Haryana to its south, and Punjab to west.

It got the statehood on 25 January 1971, and became 18th state of the Indian Union.

Capitals: HP has two capitals, viz. Shimla and Dharamshala (Second Capital in Winter)

Earthquake Prone: According to BIS seismic zonation map, Himachal Pradesh falls in Zone IV (High Damage Risk Zone) and Zone V (seismically the most active region).

Sub-sonic Cruise Missile ‘Nirbhay’ Successfully Test-Fired

India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ from a test range Chandipur, Odisha.

Nirbhay Missile

  • Nirbhay missile has blended missile and aeronautical technologies which allows it to take off vertically like missile and cruise horizontally like an aircraft.
  • The missile has a two-stage missile powered by solid rocket motor booster developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL).
  • Nirbhay Missile has an operational range of 1000 km and can carry warheads of up to 300 kg including nuclear warheads.
  • It can be launched from various kind of platforms.
  • It can travel with a turbofan or turbojet engine and is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system.
  • It has the capability to loiter and cruise at 0.7 Mach, at altitudes as low as 100m.
  • It is terrain hugging missile which keeps on encircling the area of its target for several minutes and then hits bull’s eye’ on an opportune time.
  • It is difficult to detect by enemy’s radars. It is capable to engage several targets in a single flight.
  • The guidance, control and navigation system of missile is configured around indigenously designed Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) and MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with GPS system.

It was the sixth experimental test of Nirbhay missile system and it achieved all mission objectives right from lift-off till the final splash, boosting the confidence of all scientists associated with the trial.