Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thirty imaging satellites planned by India

India plans to build a new satellite ground station in Hyderabad by June next year and launch no less than 30 Earth imaging satellites over the next decade, reports Press Trust of India (PTI).

The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), manages the country’s remote sensing satellites. The satellites are used to study water resources, agriculture, mineral exploration, mapping and urban area studies.

In July, India launched the Cartosat-2B satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Cartosat-2B is the 17th satellite in the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite series. It is capable of imaging with a resolution of better than one meter (three feet). Future plans show India launching a series of Cartosat satellites with 30-centimeter (11-inch) resolution.

NRSC has its own ground station at Shadnagar, 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Hyderabad, to collect satellite data from the Indian Remote Sensing satellites and other foreign satellites.

With the new ground station planned in Hyderabad and a series of new satellites, the NRSC could deliver imagery to a customer within 12 hours compared to current service which could take four to five days.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow holds New York transportation system to limited service

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York could only provide "limited service" on several rail and subway lines for this morning's rush hour, following round the clock efforts by crews to clear and remove up to two feet of snow from the tracks, crucial signals and switches that make up our rail infrastructure.

The Long Island Rail Road expects to be able to gradually resume very limited service on other branches throughout the day. "However, there continue to be major delays and in some cases suspensions in service across our transportation network into the afternoon on portions of the Long Island Rail Road and New York City Subway system," MTA says on their Web site.

Subway service is operating but with service outages on a number of lines, especially those lines that operate in open cuts particularly in Brooklyn.

Bus service in the region remains severely affected. Long Island Bus is operating very limited service due to road conditions. Limited-Stop bus service in New York City remains suspended. Local and express service in the five boroughs is operating with delays especially in Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens.

In addition, some routes have been shortened due to street conditions. Roadway conditions are being evaluated on a route by route basis.

"We will only restore service where we can safely do so," MTA said.

Chocolate chip cookie alert in Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Thrifty Foods are warning people with allergies to peanuts not to consume chocolate chip cookies sold at Thrifty Foods Broadmead in Victoria, British Columbia. The affected product contains peanuts, which are not declared on the label.

The affected product is in-store baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies incorrectly labeled as Chocolate Chip Cookies. The cookies were sold in packages bearing UPC 0 74147 66187 5 and a Best Before date of 29 DE, 10 (December 29, 2010).

This product was sold at Thrifty Foods Broadmead, 777 Royal Oak Dr., Victoria, British Columbia.

"There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product," CFIA said in a press release Monday. "Consumption of this product may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to peanuts."

The manufacturer, Thrifty Foods Broadmead, Victoria, BC, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information: Thrifty Foods Customer Service at 250-544-1234 (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday to Friday); or CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).