STARFIRE ALGORITHM (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Sci & tech)

News-CRUX-10     26th July 2023        
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Context: Scientists have developed an algorithm called STARFIRE which can estimate the Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) emitted by FM radio stations, WiFi networks, mobile towers, radar, satellites, and communication devices, and use this calculation for designing and fine-tuning the antennas and other instrument components of missions like India’s Probing ReionizATion of the Universe using Signal from Hydrogen (PRATUSH). 

  • PRATUSH is one of the several mission opportunities in space contemplated to address the growing RFI on land, to study the birth of the first stars and galaxies in the Universe using the 21-cm hydrogen line obtained from the far side of the moon.

Key Points

  • The new algorithm can help design instruments that are capable of offering optimal operations in the presence of RFI and thereby, enriches the data obtained from the future space-based Astronomy missions.
  • In order to study the early Universe and its evolution, astronomers tune their radio antennas within the 40 to 200 Megahertz (MHz) range in search of the 21-cm hydrogen line, believed to contain some of the unknown secrets about the cosmos. 
  • However, given their faint and weak strength, detecting these signals is extremely challenging. 
  • In addition, the fast-advancing technologies and expanding areas of human settlements have led to an increased number of sources emitting RFIs, many even constraining the efforts for recording astronomical observations on land.
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