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ISRO joins the fight against COVID-19 with portable medical oxygen concentrator

Amid the deadly second wave of COVID-19, public and private players are coming together to fight the crisis. ISRO research organisation Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre has joined the fight by developing a portable medical oxygen concentrator, named ‘SHWAAS’.

The device has been designed to support patients with respiratory illness or those who are on oxygen therapy.

Dr Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chairman of ISRO and Secretary, Department of Space

According to the official statement, SHWAAS is capable of supplying oxygen continuously at 10 LPM (litres per minute) for two patients at a time. The space agency is now inviting entrepreneurs, startups, and innovators to partner with them for prototyping and mass production.

Weighing around 42-44 kg, ISRO revealed that the device can enhance oxygen gas content by selectively separating the nitrogen gas from ambient air through pressure swing adsorption (PSA).

According to a report by Zee, ISRO has also been supplying liquid oxygen to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh government from their manufacturing facilities and existing stock in order to help fight the pandemic. 

Apart from this, the Indian space agency has also been supporting several state governments with its geospatial tools and location-based solutions. ISRO had developed a geo-portal, ‘Bhuvan-COVID-19’  to keep track of the pandemic situations and cases at the national level

“The geoportal provides many other interest graphic presentation at a national level as part of sensitising common man on the COVID-19 situation on a regular basis, based on the data presented by MoHFW portal. While the Covid-19 dashboard depicts dynamic information of the status of the pandemic at national level, many state-level applications were also developed and deployed,” ISRO said in a statement. 

Last year has been a game changer for the Indian spacetech ecosystem as the government opened up the sector to private players. As a part of the new reforms, ISRO is collaborating with private players, spacetech startups to further develop the spacetech sector

However, the pandemic outbreak and lockdowns have resulted in the delay of several missions such as Gaganyaan, Chandrayaan-3, Shukrayaan-1 among others.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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