Paper:   General Studies Paper-II

Section:  Science and Technology

Topic:  Space and Communication

Question 1

What is a cryogenic engine? Discuss its significance in India’s space programme. (250 word)

Sample Answer

Cryogenic means low temperature. Cryogenic engines are highly efficient liquid propellant engines. They use liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as the propellant. Oxygen can be kept in liquid state at below -1830 C temperature, while hydrogen requires temperature below -253°C to be in liquid form. Moreover, the liquid oxygen is very reactive. So, effective technology is required to ensure that both come in contact only in the combustion chamber. Apart from this technological care, two quite different state of temperature are required to be maintained. To keep propellant in liquid state, low temperature is to be maintained while in the combustion chamber very high temperature and pressure are created by combustion to create a greater thrust. These engines produce greater thrust by the same weight of propellant than other engines. They are highly efficient and are used throughout the world.

India signed an agreement with Russia for Cryogenic technology but due to American pressure Russia didn’t transfer India this technology. However, later on, ISRO tried to develop this technology and has achieved much success in this path. India will become self – reliant in its space programme after the development of this technology.

Cryogenic engines are very useful in launching of heavy satellite launch vehicles like GSLV. We will be able to launch much heavier satellites into orbit. Even satellite launching market will be available for India in the world. Cryogenic engines will not only make India progress in its own programmes but commercialisation of this technology and its services will get India foreign currency.

No of Words: 255

Question 2

What is fibre optics? What advantages does it offer in telecommunications? Elaborate. (150 words)

Sample Answer

Fibre Optics is a branch of Physics dealing with principle of Internal reflection and its applications in various fields. Fibre optics technology enters high energy light waves in optical fibres, a hollow thread with efficient reflective inner surface, at the one end and it is transmitted to the other end.

Besides its application in medical and broadcasting, it is very useful in telecommunications. Sound energy is converted into and transmitted as light energy through optical fibres. Speedy and efficient transmission is the main advantage besides clarity. There is no or negligible loss of energy and cross talks are avoided. Electrical interference is also not present and so telecommunications gets good quality transmission.

In comparison to metallic lines, optical lines are smaller and therefore more messages can be sent simultaneously. They have large bandwidth and so a potentially high transmission capacity. They are signal tapping proof and possess high temperature tolerance. Components are light weight and 10,000 times thinner than hair.

No of Words: 160

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