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Russian scientists created an engine for nano-satellites which works on a water-alcohol mixture

Scientists at the Samara National Research University have developed a space engine for nanosatellites (i.e. satellites weighing less than 10 kg), which works on a mixture of water and alcohol, the press service of the university informed.
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«Scientists at the University have developed a complete set of design documentation and produced a prototype of a propulsion system which works on a water-alcohol mixture for 'SamSat-M', a nanosatellite with maneuvering capability. Tests of the prototype are currently being carried out, at the same time as design of an experimental nanosatellite for flight design tests is made», the press service said.

This development will make it possible to equip nanosatellites with a reliable and inexpensive in-orbit maneuvering system. The scientists suggested using a mixture of distilled water and ethyl alcohol to fuel the propulsion installation. The mixture is evaporated using an electric heater before entering the nozzle, then the resulting steam is heated to the required temperature with the same heater.

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Three seismic stations installed near the epicentre of an earthquake in the Chelyabinsk region

Scientists from the Mining Institute of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (UrB RAS) have installed three temporary seismic stations to receive data from the Katav-Ivanovo District in the Chelyabinsk Region, where an earthquake occurred on the night of September 5, informed Philip Verkholantsev, a member of the Laboratory of Natural and Technogenic Seismicity at the Mining Institute of the UrB RAS.
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«This is the strongest earthquake instrumentally registered in the Urals ever, and quite unique given the aftershock sequence. To monitor the aftershock process, we have established three temporary stations. After that we started visiting cities and villages to interview local residents, collect questionnaires,» he said.

On the fifth of September at 03:58 (01:58 Moscow time) in Chelyabinsk region seismic activity was recorded, with a magnitude of 5.4, according to the updated data of the Ural seismological network.

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SPE 'Zvezda' presented a life support system for an airplane on solar batteries

Research, Development & Production Enterprise 'Zvezda' presented at the international exhibition 'Gidroaviasalon-2018' a model of a cabin of an aircraft on solar batteries dubbed 'Solar Stratos' with a life support system for the pilot.
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It is noted that it includes a modernised pressure suit 'Sokol KV-2', a heat-shield suit, a ventilation unit, and a control panel for the heating system.

It is stated that the system is designed to ensure the life of the pilot in extreme conditions at heights of up to 25 km and ambient temperatures down to minus 50 degrees Celsius in an unsealed cabin.

It was reported earlier that Rafael Domzhan, a pilot from Switzerland, tested a spacesuit for flights to the stratosphere at the SPE 'Zvezda' at the end of March this year. The pilot is expected to fly an airplane on solar energy to the stratosphere (at the altitude of 25 km) in 2020.

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Scientists found a way to protect optical fiber in biomedical applications from biomolecules

Scientists from Russia, the Czech Republic, and the United States have proposed a new way of protecting the surface of optical fibers from biological molecules. Such optical fibers are promising for use in biomedical applications, including biosensors, the press service of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) informed.
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«Proteins stick to the surface of an optical fiber line and thus prevent it from transforming the signal. To solve the problem we have developed a new method of modifying the surface of a fiber by making it bio-inert — we covered a fiber with highly hydrophobic organic compounds so that they do not interact with proteins in aqueous solutions,» Pavel Postnikov, one of the authors of the study and associate professor of the Research School of Chemistry and Applied Biomedical Sciences is quoted by the press service as saying.

Postnikov explained that a thin layer of gold is sprayed on the fiber to form a coating, then light is directed through it so that plasmon resonance is excited, due to which the iodonium salt decomposes, organic radicals are formed and bind firmly to the fiber surface. Experiments have shown that after the modification the fiber ceases to interact with molecules.

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