19 August 2011 The MeerKAT radio telescope being built by the South African team preparing SA’s bid for hosting the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) has passed its first test with flying colours. Close to 100 young scientists and engineers are working on the MeerKAT, a world-class radio telescope designed to do groundbreaking science. It will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the southern hemisphere until completion of the SKA. An international panel of experts has declared that the MeerKAT has passed its preliminary design review with distinction, SKA South Africa said in a statement this week. “This is a major milestone in the construction of the 64-dish radio telescope in the Karoo Astronomy Reserve, in the Northern Cape, and follows the successful passing of the MeerKAT concept design review, carried out by another top-level international panel in July 2010. “With 64 offset dishes, each 13.5 metres in diameter, the MeerKAT will be one of the largest, most sensitive and scientifically most exciting radio telescopes in the world,” SKA South Africa said. “It has already grabbed the attention of the world and has attracted tremendous international interest from scientists, engineers and industry.” The South African government has already committed funds to build the telescope.Thumbs-up from world’s top radio astronomers The preliminary design review (PDR) was carried out in Cape Town by a panel consisting of some of the world’s leading radio astronomers from India, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Chile and Australia. The panel was convened to evaluate all aspects of the design of the MeerKAT, the system engineering development process, risk potential and satisfaction of user requirements. The panel unanimously concluded that the PDR has been successfully passed and congratulated the project teams. “We note with great appreciation the exceptional openness and transparency of the project management and teams, which is of very great importance also for the SKA telescope,” the panel said. “We are extremely impressed by the quality of the project team, and the continued tremendous progress in realising KAT-7 [a seven-dish engineering test bed] and bringing MeerKAT to its current stage.” The panel noted that the South African team working on the MeerKAT was exceptionally capable and skilled and extremely enthusiastic and committed. It commended the project team for the intelligent approach towards systems engineering, looking after the fundamental technology development while at the same time implementing formal procedures. It highlighted in particular the thorough approach towards the design of the infrastructure for the telescope. The PDR report pointed out some risks that will need to be minimised before deployment of the full system in the Karoo, particularly the need to ensure that mechanical and structural tolerances can be achieved at reasonable cost, and the need for continued care to avoid self-generated radio frequency interference The panel noted the critical role of KAT-7 as an engineering test-bed and science verification system in the risk mitigation for the MeerKAT. It concluded that there were no unacceptably high risks and that the project had a well-defined risk management structure that was well adhered to throughout the project.Tenders for construction of infrastructure According to SKA South Africa, now that the MeerKAT has passed this crucial milestone, tenders will be issued from October 2011 for the construction of the infrastructure for the telescope, including roads, power and optical fibre reticulation, buildings and foundations for the dishes. The telescope subsystems will now also proceed to develop detailed specifications to enable the development and procurement of these systems. Some major components with long lead items, such as the antenna structures, will go out soon as requests for information. “The successful PDR has again confirmed that South Africa has world-class scientists, engineers and industries, which is why global leaders like Intel, IBM and Nokia Siemens Networks want to work with the team,” SKA South Africa project director Dr Bernie Fanaroff said in the statement. “The PDR has confirmed that the MeerKAT will be among the most competitive telescopes in the world. It will provide African and international scientists and engineers with a cutting edge instrument for revolutionary science and technology,” Fanaroff said. “It has already strengthened the African bid, led by South Africa, to host the Square Kilometre Array – the “SKA in Africa.” The news follows the earlier announcement that the KAT-7 telescope was reaching engineering completion, that commissioning and learning would be ongoing, and that an operational baseline will be established by the end of the year. “With the completion of KAT-7, the project team will focus on the construction of the bigger MeerKAT,” SKA South Africa said. SAinfo reporter
At least 21 MLAs of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) out of 28 on Sunday pledged support to the party president Mehbooba Mufti on, days after four MLAs and one MLC publicly revolted against her.Speaking to The Hindu, senior PDP leader and Ms. Mufti’s loyalist Naeem Akhtar said several MLAs had called on Ms. Mufti “to discuss the political scenario assuming shape in J&K” after the fall of the PDP-BJP government on June 20.“It was an informal consultation. The MLAs came forward with their suggestions,” said Mr. Akhtar.Sources said the MLAs pledged support to Ms. Mufti as she sought “a frank discussion”.At least eight PDP MLAs met Ms. Mufti at her resident and pledged support. They advised Ms. Mufti “to explore all possibilities to reconcile the dissident legislators for addressing their grievances”.Sources said at least 21 MLAs have been in touch of Ms. Mufti.The development comes days after five senior PDP leaders, including MLAs Imran Ansari, Abid Ansari, Abbas Wani, Javaid Beigh and MLC Yasir Reshi, criticised Ms. Mufti publicly and hinted at leaving the party to “form an alternative leadership”.These leaders statement fuelled speculations of the third front being set up to form a government, with many PDP leaders accusing the BJP of “splitting the party”.Besides, MLA Rajpora Haseeb Drabu has also been maintaining a distance from the party leadership after he was dropped by Ms. Mufti from the council of minister earlier this year.“Ms. Mufti will listen to all PDP MLAs who have grievances. They are always welcome to meet her,” said Mr. Akhtar, without naming any leader.Governor N.N. Vora has kept J&K assembly in a suspended mode and is yet to dissolve it. The move keep chances open to form the government in the Stata. However, the strict anti-defection law passed by the Assembly in 2003 makes it hard for any party to split and reach the magic figure of 44 with others in the 87-member State assembly.
A fake currency printing unit was unearthed by the police in Parlakhemundi of Odisha’s Gajapati district on Monday. Police suspect the unit was being used to print counterfeit notes to be distributed during the elections in the State.Fake currencies with the face value of ₹2,50,000 in ₹500 denomination was seized from a rented house, where the counterfeit printing unit was operating. Equipments, chemicals and paper for fake currency notes were seized.Two persons — one from Srikakulam district of adjoining Andhra Pradesh and the other, a resident of Parlakhemundi — were arrested from the spot. Another accused from Bihar managed to escape during the police raid.According to investigating police officers, seizure of such large amount fake currencies suggests that those involved in the racket might be planning to circulate them in rural areas during the election process, when cash transactions increases many folds.Gajapati Superintendent of Police Sara Sharma said further investigation is on to find out if the busted fake currency printing unit is a part of a larger inter-State racket.
Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Rachel Ann Daquis. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWith her lean 5-foot-10 frame, flawless skin and winsome smile, Rachel Anne Daquis easily catches everyone’s attention. The highly popular open spiker for Cignal in the Philippine Superliga also happens to be a force on the hard court.A champion many times over with Far Eastern University in the UAAP, as well as with Philippine Army and Petron in volleyball’s commercial leagues, Daquis won the Most Valuable Player award in the 2015 PSL All Filipino Cup, which the Blaze Spikers won via 13-0 sweep.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments Yet, instead of moping, she stepped down from the national team and said she would take a “specialized training course” abroad to help her earn credentials as a future fitness guru.“It was a very difficult decision for me because I have always aspired to represent our country,” Daquis said in a statement. “I am very grateful that you (national coaches) have considered me to be included in the team lineup. But I feel that there are other more capable candidates who can contribute more effectively to the team given the other priorities in my life that I must consider.”That’s Daquis gracefully telling them: If you’re not giving me my rightful place in the grand ball, I’m skipping the party altogether.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Keeping up with Kobe That may explain the uproar in social media when she was relegated to the reserve list of the Philippine team that will see action in the Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Seniors tournament next month. After all, to paraphrase a classic line from the movie “Dirty Dancing,” “nobody puts Rachel in a corner.”For years, the 29-year-old Daquis painstakingly earned the tag “Face of Philippine volleyball.” During the Singapore SEA Games two years ago, giant posters bearing her image—she was an endorser for a top sports manufacturing company— adorned big malls around the Lion City’s OCBC Arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsDaquis has represented the country in international tournaments since 2011 and was part of the pioneering PSL-Manila squad that played in the FIVB World Clubs Championships in 2016.Fast-forward to last May’s AVC Asian Club Championship in Kazakhstan, where Daquis served as team captain of Philippine representative Rebisco-PSL and played the part well. She was on top of everything, from the team’s airport check-ins, to the daily bus rides, to the team bull sessions. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes MOST READ Over breakfast at Shiny River Hotel in Ust-Kamenogorsk, head coach Francis Vicente, worried sick by the bashing the national team was receiving in social media, tried to lighten the mood of the girls. After five matches in five days the team still could not buy a win against stronger clubs.“Hey, girls, have you said hello to your bashers this morning?” Vicente asked his players.Daquis offered a reply for the team in Filipino: “No coach. We have stopped checking [our social media accounts]. All we know is that we’re all very pretty!”Her remark brought the house down and conveyed the correct attitude the team, including Vicente himself, took to ward off online critics.So after Daquis was unceremoniously cut from the national team’s final roster by the coaching staff, supposedly in favor of younger and stronger open hitters, the news stunned her legions of fans, probably more than Daquis herself.ADVERTISEMENT
Tokyo, Aug 10 (AP) With the Tokyo Olympics less than two years away, Japanese athletes will be using the Asian Games to build confidence as they prepare to host the world on sport’s biggest stage. The Japanese Olympic Committee has set an ambitious target of 30 gold medals for the 2020 Olympics, almost double the national record. The most gold medals Japan has won at the Summer Olympics is 16 in 1964 at Tokyo and in 2004 at Athens. At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, Japan claimed the sixth-highest number of gold medals with 12. The Asian Games, being held Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, are an important stepping stone. While Japan can always count on medals in traditional Japanese sports such as judo and karate, the Asian Games will give the country a chance to gauge preparations in sports they haven’t always dominated. Nowhere is this more evident than in athletics where Japan’s 4×100-meter relay team has set its sights on the gold medal at Tokyo in 2020. Considering the team of Yoshihide Kiryu, Aska Cambridge, Shota Iizuka and Ryota Yamagata won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics, that’s no longer a far-fetched dream. At the Asian Games, they’ll face a stern challenge from China’s 4×100 relay, silver medalists at the 2015 world championships and another Olympic medal contender. “We’re aiming for the gold medal in Indonesia,” Yamagata said at a recent training camp. “We want to use the Asian Games to build confidence toward next year’s world championships and the Olympics in 2020.”advertisement Cambridge, whose father is Jamaican and mother is Japanese, competes in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints as well and is one of the rising stars in Japanese athletics. “We can feel the excitement building,” Cambridge said. “There are a lot of runners in the 100 (at the Asian Games) who can run under 10 seconds so I expect it will be a very tough race.” Five new sports have been added to the program for Tokyo 2020, and the Asian Games will feature several of those. Japan has established itself as a global powerhouse in bouldering, one of three disciplines in sport climbing, and will be aiming to dominate the event in Indonesia. Baseball and softball are also returning to the Olympic program in Tokyo and, while Japan has always been a medal contender, the Asian Games will provide a good test run after a long absence from international competition. Baseball and softball haven’t been contested in the Olympics since Beijing in 2008 and Japan is hoping to take home the gold medal in both events in two years’ time. Another area where Japan is expecting an impressive medal haul is in the pool. Kosuke Hagino and teenage star Rikako Ikee are among 22 swimmers going to Indonesia for Japan. Hagino collected four gold medals and was awarded the MVP award at the 2014 edition of the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. The 18-year-old Ikee competed in seven disciplines, including relays, at the Rio Olympics. She is the junior world record holder in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly long-course events. Japan placed third overall at the 2014 Asian Games behind China and South Korea and is aiming to increase its medal haul from Incheon to Indonesia. (AP) ATKATK