Radio communication confirms successful launch of South Korea’s new satellite

¾Æ¸®¶û 5È£ ¹ß»ç ¼º°øSouth Korea’s new multipurpose satellite made contact with a ground station in the Asian country early Friday, confirming its successful deployment into its target orbit, officials in Yasny said. The first communication contact was made at 2:35 a.m. (5:35 a.m. KST), according to the officials from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

The Korea Multipurpose Satellite-5 (KOMPSAT-5) was launched Thursday from a launch base in Yasny, located some 1,800 kilometers southeast of Moscow, using Russia’s Dnepr rocket, a space launch vehicle converted from a Soviet-era intercontinental ballistic missile.

Beacon signals from the satellite were initially picked up by the Troll Satellite Station in Antarctica, 32 minutes following the launch, partly indicating the satellite’s successful deployment into its orbit.

For full artilce, see Korea Herald.

KIOST successfully conducts running tests of ‘MineRo’, deep seafloor mineral mining robot

2013_08_robotThe Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that it successfully conducted the pre-planned route tracing test of the manganese nodule mining robot, ‘MineRo’ (weight: 28 tons), on the seafloor as deep as 1,370 meters in the seas 130km east-southeastward away from Pohang. The tracing test was conducted for 8 days from July 19 to 26.

Since it received in 2002 a right to exclusively explore a mine lot (in area of 75,000km²) in the Clarion-Clipperton waters 2,000km southeastward from Hawaii from the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the government has been developing technologies for exploring and commercially developing manganese nodules on the 5,000 meter-deep seafloor.

The running tests of the mining robot, MineRo, on the deep seafloor was conducted in two ways; seafloor running test to see whether it can move along desired circulation and the test of deep sea navigation and route tracing to verify whether the robot can be remotely controlled on board a ship.

In seafloor running tests, the MineRo robot successfully completed verification test by moving along desired circulation under adverse conditions of the deep seafloor with indented and flimsy ground, while keeping running performances, such as direction control, straight driving and turning around.

For full article, see Korea Energy.

High speed nanomanufacturing process developed using laser

2013_08_nano_laser
A nanomaterial synthesized after illuminated by lasers. Source: KAIST.

Dr. Yeo Jun Yeop from KAIST’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, in a joint research project with Prof. Seung Hwan Ko, has developed a technology that speeds up the nanomanufacturing process by using lasers. Their research is published in the frontispiece of Advanced Functional Materials (July 9th issue).

The research group put a nanomaterial precursor on the board, illuminated it with a continuous-wave laser in the green wavelength range, and succeeded in synthesizing a nanowire at the point they wanted for the first time in the world. Currently nanomaterials are difficult to  mass produce and commercialize due to their complex and costly manufacturing processes which also use toxic gases.  However, their new technology simplified the process and so reduced the manufacturing time from some hours to five minutes (1/10th times reduced).

For full article, see KAIST.

Korea’s new chemical regulation to undermine industrial competitiveness

2013_08_chemistrySouth Korea enacted new legislation that regulates registration and evaluation of chemical substances in May this year, raising the concern that the new law could undermine the nation’s industries that use chemicals, including the electronics, car, shipbuilding and steel sectors. The new law on regulation and evaluation of chemicals (RECH) was separated from the previous comprehensive chemical substance control legislation.

The RECH’s key departure from the prior law is that the new legislation does not permit exceptions in the registration of new chemicals. So far, companies have been exempt from registering chemicals if the substance is used in a quantity under 100 kilograms per year, or for research and development purposes. Most countries, including the US, Australia, Canada and Europe, have such exemption provisions in their regulations. As of now, Europe has the strictest chemical regulation named REACH – Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals – which allows companies to forgo the registration of chemicals if the substances are used in one ton or less amount.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

Korea to launch first brain bank next year

2013_08_brainKorea’s first state-run brain tissue repository will be established next year to assist research on neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and autism, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said Thursday. The planned “brain bank” in Daegu is expected to collect, store and distribute brain and spinal cord tissue for research.

The Korea Brain Research Institute will take charge of designing and operating the project to study neurodegenerative diseases and develop treatments more systematically and effectively, officials said. The institute will also organize an advisory committee consisting of neuro-scientists and doctors, and set up the necessary ethical codes for brain research.

A brain bank collects donated brains from patients who died while suffering from neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, autism and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The brain tissue repository assists scientists performing research into those neurological or psychiatric disorders, study the causes, and also look for a cure.

For full article, see Korea Herald.

KAIST’s wireless Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) runs inner city roads

2013_08_gumi_olevThe Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is an electric vehicle that can be charged while stationary or driving, thus removing the need to stop at a charging station. Likewise, an OLEV tram does not require pantographs to feed power from electric wires strung above the tram route.

Following the development and operation of commercialized OLEV trams (at an amusement park in Seoul) and shuttle buses (at KAIST campus), respectively, the City of Gumi in South Korea, beginning on August 6th, is providing its citizens with OLEV public transportation services.

Two OLEV buses will run an inner city route between Gumi Train Station and In-dong district, for a total of 24 km roundtrip. The bus will receive 20 kHz and 100 kW (136 horsepower) electricity at an 85% maximum power transmission efficiency rate while maintaining a 17cm air gap between the underbody of the vehicle and the road surface.

OLEV is a groundbreaking technology that accelerates the development of purely electric vehicles as a viable option for future transportation systems, be they personal vehicles or public transit. This is accomplished by solving technological issues that limit the commercialization of electric vehicles such as price, weight, volume, driving distance, and lack of charging infrastructure.

For full article, see KAIST.

Korea’s creative economy aims at venture ecosystem

When President Park Geun-hye introduced her creative economy policy during the election campaign late last year, most people were bewildered by the relatively new concept. The policy’s key points included promoting convergent IT and software technologies, scientific discoveries and technology integrating with cultural content for sustainable economic growth.

“We must lead Korea’s mid- to long-term growth based on knowledge (in science and technology),” Park said when announcing her plan to create the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the control tower for the president’s creative economy initiative.

The emphasis on science and technology in the key economic policies of Korean presidents is nothing new, but science and technology or even technological convergence had been overlooked by the former administration of Lee Myung-bak, whose knowledge economy efforts were focused more on facilitating a business-friendly environment for conglomerates.

The concept of a creative economy was just as confusing as a knowledge economy, or even Park’s economic democratization pledge.

For full article, see Korea Herald.

LG Electronics Unveils Old-fashioned Classic TV

2013_08_LG-retroLG Electronics released on August 12 “Classic TV” that has an old-fashioned design that arouses the feel of the 1970s-1980s. The model has a retro design that features a rotary-type channel dial and wood frames, while having the simplicity of North European look. The Classic TV is actually a 32-inch LED TV that has a full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, offering bright and clear images. With an IPS panel that has a viewing angle of 178 degrees, the Classic TV realizes natural color in any viewing angle.

If connected with an external hard drive or a USB memory stick, it enables users to enjoy videos, photos, and music stored. LG Electronics expects the Classic TV to be loved by both the middle aged and the young people who still remember Gumsung TV, a TV brand used by LG in the past. The Classic TV will be sold at a price of 840,000 won. The company plans to provide a coffee machine as a gift to those who purchase the Classic TV.

Source: Korea IT Times.

Samsung drastically cuts funding for public technology foundation

2013_08_samsung_officeGovernment and funding company couldn’t agree on Samsung’s degree of control over foundation’s technological output
Samsung is reducing funding for its planned “future technology development foundation.”

Originally, the company said in May that it was putting up 1.5 trillion won (US$1.34 billion) over the next ten years to support the “creative economy” pledged by the government. Now the allotted amount has dropped to 500 billion won (US$446 million), with the remaining one trillion won to be provided through a new “future technology training center” within Samsung Electronics. The move is expected to trigger an outcry, with critics claiming it runs counter to the initial pledge of Samsung establishing a foundation that would work in the public interest.

For full article, see The Hankyore.

Korea to pilot digital textbook program at schools next year

South Korea plans to conduct a pilot program to use digital textbooks at hundreds of elementary and middle schools around the country during the 2014 school year, the education ministry said Wednesday. Digital social studies and science textbooks are being developed for third- and fourth-year students of elementary schools and first- or second-year middle school students, it said.

Some 150 elementary and 300 middle schools around the country have been chosen to use the new type of textbooks in the 2014 school year, the ministry said. Officials expect the e-books will help students more easily understand what they are learning with terminology dictionaries, relevant video clips, test questions and materials for in-depth and compensatory learning in addition to content from existing print-version textbooks.

For full article, see Korea Herald.