Q. 327. What is a Hydrogen bomb? How is the reaction mechanism of Hydrogen bomb different from an atomic bomb?
Nuclear weapons trigger an explosive reaction that shears off destructive energy locked inside the bomb’s atomic materials. A thermonuclear weapon is a second-generation nuclear weapon design which is bombarded by the energy released by the detonation of a primary fission bomb within, compressing the fuel material (tritium, deuterium or lithium deuteride) and causing a fusion reaction. That fusion stage is mashing hydrogen atoms together in the same process that fuels the sun. When these relatively light atoms join together, they unleash neutrons in a wave of destructive energy. Some advanced designs use fast neutrons produced by this second stage to ignite a third fast fission or fusion stage. The fission bomb and fusion fuel are placed near each other in a special radiation-reflecting container called a radiation case that is designed to contain x-rays for as long as possible. The result is greatly increased explosive power when compared to single-stage fission weapons. The device is colloquially referred to as a hydrogen bomb or, an H-bomb, because it employs the fusion of isotopes of hydrogen.
Hydrogen bombs, or H-bombs, are far more powerful than the relatively simple atomic weapons. Atomic bombs rely on fission, or atom-splitting, just as nuclear power plants do. The hydrogen bomb can be 1,000 times more powerful. The technology of the hydrogen bomb is more sophisticated, and once attained, it is a greater threat. It can also be made small enough to fit on a head of an ICBM.
The hydrogen bomb is the global standard for the five nations with the greatest nuclear capabilities: the US, Russia, France, the UK and China.
Satellite technology and Border management
The government will very soon use satellite technology for the Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) for better border surveillance. The government will dedicate satellite bandwidth for this purpose.
Satellite technology will be used carry out the following activities:
- Monitor movement of Pakistani and Chinese troops in real time
- Track terrorist infiltration
- Map terrain
- Communicate effectively in remote areas
- Assess the strength of soldiers and artillery deployed by neighbours near the border in case of a stand-off.
Fortification is important because the: command, control, communication, surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance abilities of border security forces need to become impregnable.
Satellites can play an important role in border management. India has one of the best satellite technologies in Asia. Defence forces are already using space technology. Border forces depend on intelligence shared by central agencies like IB, RAW and National Technical Research Organisation. There is also the issue of poor communication in areas like Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir Valley. With satellite technology real-time information can be better monitored.
Satellite and Armed forces
India shares over 15,000km of borders with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. The armed forces currently use 13 ISRO satellites to watch land and maritime boundaries. The Navy has a dedicated military satellite, GSAT-7 or `Rukmini' which monitors the Indian Ocean Region.
The recently launched Cartosat-2 series advanced remote sensing satellite has added more teeth to India's military surveillance capabilities because of its high resolution image processing technology.
Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS)
Under CIBMS the government is already providing:
- CCTV cameras
- Thermal image and night-vision devices
- Battlefield surveillance radar
- Underground monitoring sensors
- Laser barriers
These are helping to track movement from the other side along the border. The integrated set-up ensures that if one device doesn't work, another alerts the control room in case of a transgression.