When Brian Schwartz, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist researching the public health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, read about an environmental group that uses satellite imagery and aerial photography to track environmental degradation, he was intrigued.It was the summer of 2013, and the group, SkyTruth, had just launched a crowdsourcing project on its website to map fracking activity in Pennsylvania. The site provided volunteers with U.S. government aerial images from across the state and a brief tutorial on how to identify fracking locations. Within a month, more than 200 volunteers sorted through 9,000 images to pinpoint 2,724 fracking wellpads. Schwartz ended up using this data in a study published last October in the journal Epidemiology, showing that women living near hydraulic fracturing sites in 40 Pennsylvania counties faced a significantly elevated risk of giving birth prematurely.That’s precisely the sort of result that John Amos, SkyTruth’s president, envisioned when he founded the group in 2001. He has since become part data analyst, part environmental advocate, and part satellite-imagery proselytizer as he looks for ways to use remote sensing to call attention to little-noticed environmental damage.This month, SkyTruth’s website is displaying a map showing the global prevalence of flaring, the wasteful and carbon-spewing oil industry practice of burning natural gas and other drilling byproducts. Through most of December, SkyTruth and another satellite-focused nonprofit, Moscow-based Transparent World, displayed images of a burning oil platform and a 2,300-barrel oil slick in the Caspian Sea. The platform’s owner, Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil company, SOCAR, denied that any spill had occurred.SkyTruth’s defining moment came in 2010, when Amos — analyzing satellite photographs — sounded the alarm that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was far larger than the petroleum company, BP, and the U.S. government were acknowledging.“If you can see it,” says SkyTruth’s motto, displayed at the top of its website, “you can change it.” For the first time, a coal permit is revokedSkyTruth has also affected the course of mountaintop removal coal mining. Appalachian states have issued hundreds of permits for mountaintop removal mines, but they’ve rarely checked to see whether the mines have stayed within the permitted boundaries.Permits are supposed to be issued only after assessing impacts on downstream waterways, and a study of 10 West Virginia counties published in 2004 by the state’s environmental protection department found that nearly 40 percent of mines in ten counties were situated outside permitted locations.Acting on a request from Appalachian Voices, a North Carolina-based nonprofit that opposes mountaintop removal mining, SkyTruth devised a technique for identifying the mines from satellite images, then mapped their growth over three decades and posted the results on its website in 2009.The information was used in six peer-reviewed academic articles, including a Duke University study that found that once 5% of a watershed is mined, water quality in its rivers and streams usually fails to meet state standards.That study in turn provided empirical backing for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 revocation of a mine permit in West Virginia that had been issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The decision marked the first time the EPA had ever reversed a coal mine’s permit under the Clean Water Act. Remote sensing tools are commonOne indication of SkyTruth’s influence is a cautionary headline that appeared after SkyTruth formed a partnership with Google and the nonprofit Oceana in November 2014 to launch a system called Global Fishing Watch, which uses the satellite transponders found aboard most large fishing vessels to track the activities of the world’s fishing fleets. “Big Brother is watching,” warned World Fishing & Aquaculture, a trade journal.Illegal logging is one target of environmental groups using satellite imagery. [Photo credit: Creative Commons license / Flickr]That admonition could be extended to all the extractive industries — oil and gas, mining, logging, and fishing — whose operations can be tracked by remote sensing. A growing number of governments now conduct environmental observation by satellite; for example, the government of Brazil monitors deforestation in the Amazon. And environmental groups now commonly use remote sensing tools. One prominent example is Global Forest Watch, a system launched two years by Washington-based World Resources Institute to monitor logging and fires in the world’s forests. Russia-based Transparent World employs satellite imagery for many purposes, including monitoring of protected areas and observing the impacts of dam construction.Amos, 52, says he considered himself an environmentalist even while he spent a decade working for oil and gas companies as a satellite imagery analyst looking for drilling sites. He quit in 2000 to start a non-profit that would apply his skills to environmental protection. For years he ran SkyTruth from the basement of his Shepherdstown, West Virginia, home on an annual budget of less than $100,000, and he still speaks of “begging” satellite images from commercial providers.Although SkyTruth has expanded in recent years to eight employees supported by a $600,000 budget, it is still tiny, particularly compared to the U.S. government’s massive satellite resources. Nevertheless, SkyTruth has delved into realms that the government has avoided. One reason, Amos says, is that satellite imagery analysis is so unfamiliar that “nobody has known what to ask for” — thus, one of SkyTruth’s missions is to show what’s possible. Its usual method is to release a trove of environment-related data, then invite researchers and crowdsource amateurs to analyze it.SkyTruth has benefited enormously from the explosion in the last 15 years in satellite imagery and other digital technologies. When Amos started SkyTruth, a single Landsat satellite image cost $4,400; now the entire U.S. government collection— more than 4.7 million images and growing daily— is available free of charge. Not only have satellites and satellite imagery become cheap, but the capacity to analyze, duplicate, send, and store satellite data has expanded by orders of magnitude. In fact, satellite technology is now considered a subset of a larger field, geospatial intelligence, which has tens of thousands of practitioners around the world employing an array of optical, thermal, radar, and radiometric remote sensing tools.“It’s evolved from a problem of getting imagery to deciding which image do I want to pluck out of this massive cloud,” Amos told me. Oil industry website thwarts researchersThe finding by Schwartz, the Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, on premature births suggests a correlation between fracking and poor human health; but because the chemical trigger wasn’t identified, the link isn’t regarded as causal. From more than 1,000 available chemicals, fracking operators select a dozen or so that fit the geological challenges of a particular site.People living near the site typically can’t find out whether their wells and aquifers have been contaminated because the cost of testing for all 1,000 chemicals is prohibitive, and operators treat each site’s chemical recipe as a trade secret.The quandary led Amos to venture beyond satellite imagery into the larger field of geospatial data. Along with several better-known environmental groups, SkyTruth argued for disclosure of the recipe used at each fracking site.Two industry lobbying groups, the American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance, defused mounting Congressional pressure for mandatory disclosure by launching a website, FracFocus, where operators could post their recipes voluntarily. But soon after the site’s launch in 2011, users found that information posted on it was entered in the wrong field, misspelled chemical trade names, or omitted key facts deemed proprietary.The site thwarted researchers by requiring postings in a format that computers couldn’t read. Although 23 states require fracking companies to use FracFocus to disclose their chemical use, a 2013 Harvard Law School report concluded that FracFocus “fails as a regulatory compliance tool.”SkyTruth’s lead programmer, Paul Woods, devised a way around some of FracFocus’s barriers by writing software that “scraped” all the chemical data from the tens of thousands of reports posted on the site. Then he posted it in a database on SkyTruth’s website.In addition, under pressure from SkyTruth, other environmental groups, and an Energy Department advisory board, FracFocus agreed to make its data available in machine-readable form beginning in May 2015. These developments have yielded more and more information for researchers, such as Schwartz, who are investigating fracking’s health impact.“This is a very wonky issue that makes people’s eyes glaze over,” Amos said. “But it’s where the rubber meets the road in terms of understanding if fracking is bad for you.” The Deepwater Horizon blowoutThe first time that SkyTruth attracted national attention was in April 2010, when Amos received a Google alert that an oil platform called Deepwater Horizon, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, had exploded and burned. Amos knew explosions like this one were uncommon and usually led to spills.Early estimates were wrong. Persistence by SkyTruth helped disclose the amount of oil leaking in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill was more than 60 times as much as initial announcements from BP. [Photo credit: Ideum / Creative Commons License / Flickr]He began searching for satellite photos, but the first ones he found were obscured by clouds. Meanwhile, BP, which leased the rig, and the Coast Guard, echoing BP, maintained that the ruptured well beneath the rig was leaking oil at a rate of 1,000 barrels a day— a major spill but perhaps not a catastrophic one. The number was vital, for it would help determine the scale and strategy of the leak containment effort, the eventual cost to BP in fines and damages, and the scope of preparations for the next spill.It took Amos six days to acquire clear images. His first thought, he says, was: “Oh my God! This is much bigger than anybody realizes.” He calculated that the slick was 50 miles long and covered 817 square miles. He outlined the slick, along with his calculations, and posted both on SkyTruth’s website.Within a day, Ian MacDonald, a Florida State University oceanographer and oil slick authority, notified Amos that the leak’s flow rate was much bigger than a thousand barrels a day. Using Amos’ calculations of the slick’s size and conservative assumptions about its thickness, MacDonald concluded that it was “not unreasonable” that the leak was 20 times BP’s initial estimate.Undermined by SkyTruth’s numbers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conceded the next day that BP’s initial estimate was too low: over BP’s public objections, NOAA revised the government estimate to 5,000 barrels a day. Two months later — prodded, in part, by SkyTruth — government scientists concluded that the initial flow rate was 62,000 barrels a day, 62 times BP’s initial estimate. Jacques Leslie writes narrative nonfiction about global environmental issues. His books include Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People and the Environment, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. This post originally appeared at Yale Environment 360. Going beyond the newsIn search of images that tell environmental stories, SkyTruth pays close attention to news reports, but occasionally it finds stories of its own. One example is what is probably the Gulf of Mexico’s longest-running commercial oil spill, at the site of a rig destroyed by an underwater mudslide during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.The slide buried 28 wells on the sea floor under 100 feet of mud, which made sealing them extremely difficult. The rig’s owner, Taylor Energy Company, went bankrupt trying. Amos discovered the leaks in 2010 while studying Hurricane Katrina’s impacts, and has been sounding an alarm ever since. The leaks have trickled steadily into the Gulf’s waters since 2004 at a rate Amos estimates at between one and 20 barrels a day, creating a slick that is sometimes 20 miles long. The wells are ten miles offshore in federally managed water, but no federal agency has tried to seal the leak.Given the controversial issues SkyTruth has been involved with, the group has attracted surprisingly little criticism, perhaps because so much of its work is grounded in visual data— for SkyTruth, seeing really is believing.A notable exception occurred in 2009 when Amos testified at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on the under-appreciated risks of deepwater oil drilling. Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, attacked Amos for overlooking the oil industry’s safety record and economic benefits. “You do a great disservice by not telling the American people the truth about drilling and putting it in the perspective it deserves,” Landrieu told Amos.Landrieu didn’t give Amos a chance to respond, but, as it turned out, he didn’t have to. The BP spill occurred five months later.
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Congratulations to the players that were recognised for their achievements at the Masters Awards function following day five of the 2013 Super Trans Tasman Series.Women’s 30’s Players Player – Amy Smith Coaches Award – Holly SmithSenior MixedPlayers Player – Derrick CantCoaches Award – Joshua SparkeMen’s 30’sPlayers Player – Aaron JonesCoaches Award – Elijah Van Der KwastMen’s 40’sPlayers Player – Barry GibsonCoaches Award – Robert Sinclair-SmithMen’s 50’sPlayers Player – Dave CheungCoaches Award – Tim KitchinghamStay tuned to the Touch Football Australia YouTube channel in the coming days for all of the highlights from the Masters divisions at the 2013 Super Trans Tasman Series – www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus. Related LinksMasters Awards
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Klopp on Liverpool title-run: We’ll enjoy the rideby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveJurgen Klopp says Liverpool will “enjoy the ride” as they look to claim their first top-flight title win in close to 30 years.The Reds can extend their gap at the top of the table to nine points with a win over third-placed Manchester City at the Etihad tonight.Klopp isn’t willing to put any pressure on his players and insists they will take everything as it comes.”Now, we are in a really good moment, that’s true, but we have to go to Manchester City and play all the other big ones apart from Arsenal,” Klopp told Gary Neville on Sky Sports.”It’s football. I don’t need to know now what will be in May. Who can’t really live with the time between now and May? Go on holiday and switch everything off then come back in May and see what happened. I cannot change that. I don’t want to. I want to enjoy the ride until May!”For us, the target was to qualify for the Champions League and even that is not sure because the others can win 17 games in a row.”We have to only be focused on us and that’s what we do and so far, the mood in the club and around has got better and better. We will see where that leads us to.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say PSG midfielder Ander Herrera: No Man Utd player believed they could winby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG midfielder Ander Herrera has spoken of his move from Manchester United.The Spaniard insists there was no concern arriving, despite United knocking PSG out of the Champions League last season.Herrera stated: “It’s not difficult to get to PSG from Manchester United because I have the opportunity to play for an incredible club, but what happened last season is not normal. “Even among the players, no one thought they could win this game. “Football is like that, sometimes if you sleep two or three minutes, you are punished.”
zoom The Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains as much as sixteen times more plastic than previously estimated, with pollution levels increasing exponentially.1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 80,000 metric tons are currently afloat in the area which is rapidly growing, according to a three-year mapping effort conducted by an international team of scientists affiliated with The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, six universities and an aerial sensor company.The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located halfway between Hawaii and California, is the largest accumulation zone for ocean plastics on Earth. In order to analyze the full extent of the GPGP, the team conducted the most comprehensive sampling effort of the GPGP to date by crossing the debris field with 30 vessels simultaneously, supplemented by two aircraft surveys.Although most vessels were equipped with standard surface sampling nets, the fleet’s mothership RV Ocean Starr also trawled two six-meter-wide devices, which allowed the team to sample medium to largesized objects. To increase the surface area surveyed, and quantify the largest pieces of plastic a C-130 Hercules aircraft was fitted with advanced sensors to collect multispectral imagery and 3D scans of the ocean garbage. The fleet collected a total of 1.2 million plastic samples, while the aerial sensors scanned more than 300 km2 of ocean surface.The results reveal that the GPGP, defined as the area with more than 10 kg of plastic per km2, measures 1.6 million square kilometers, three times the size of continental France. These figures are four to sixteen times higher than previous estimates. 92% of the mass is represented by larger objects, while only 8% of the mass is contained in microplastics, defined as pieces smaller than 5 mm in size.“We were surprised by the amount of large plastic objects we encountered,” Dr. Julia Reisser, Chief Scientist of the expeditions, said, adding that they used to think most of the debris consists of small fragments.By comparing the amount of microplastics with historical measurements of the GPGP, the team found that plastic pollution levels within the GPGP have been growing exponentially since measurements began in the 1970s.“To be able to solve a problem, we believe it is essential to first understand it. These results provide us with key data to develop and test our cleanup technology, but it also underlines the urgency of dealing with the plastic pollution problem. Since the results indicate that the amount of hazardous microplastics is set to increase more than tenfold if left to fragment, the time to start is now,” Boyan Slat, Founder of The Ocean Cleanup and co-author of the study, concluded.
Manchester United are reportedly prepared to pay up to €36m for AS Roma centre-back Kostas Manolas in JuneThe Greece international is viewed as more of an old-fashioned centre-half due to his height, speed and physical prowess.Since arriving at Roma in 2014 from Olympiacos, Manolas has established himself as a key member of the squad with 192 appearances in all competitions having been made.But Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the 27-year-old’s time at Roma looks set to come to an end soon with his release clause set at €36m, which has caught United’s interest.Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.The Red Devils view Manolas as someone who will not only be able to bolster their backline, but also provide competition for Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly.However, the report adds that United will not be able to trigger Manolas’ release clause until the end of this season with Roma reluctant to sell this month.Despite the uncertainty surrounding his future at the Stadio Olimpico, however, Manolas has still made 21 appearances in all competitions for Roma this season.
, Updated: 1:28 PM December 14, 2017 Posted: December 14, 2017 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The California Department of Insurance has formed a task force to fight fraud and scams targeted at the survivors of the devastating Lilac Fire.Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones made the announcement Thursday at a Vista library branch which is now functioning as an assistance center for fire survivors.”This is ground zero for protecting wildfire survivors and we are taking a stand against disaster fraud,” Jones said.The Department of Insurance will be working with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office to canvas neighborhoods scorched by the fires, and warn residents about the dangers of hiring unlicensed contractors.California law is very clear about what kinds of financial obligations are allowed. Rick Lopes, a spokesperson for the Contractors State License Board said that homeowners should be concerned if any contractor demands a lot of money upfront.”They can ask for no more than 10 percent or $1,000, whichever is less. Once you get past the down payment, they cannot require you to pay for any work before that work is done or for any of the materials before the materials are delivered to your job site,” Lopes said. Unlicensed contractors who are caught trying to solicit work in the disaster area could be prosecuted on felony charges. For more tips and useful guidelines on hiring a reputable contractor, you can go to the website, www.cslb.ca.gov or CheckTheLicenseFirst.com. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Anti-fraud task force aims to protect wildfire survivors
WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington High School held its annual Academic Awards & Scholarship Night on Friday, June 1 in the WHS Gymnasium.The nearly 3-hour ceremony saw $165,000 in scholarships handed out to 105 graduating seniors.“This is a very special event we hold every year as we recognize our most well-deserving students for their outstanding commitment to academics, their dedication to school and community, and their proud demonstration of true Wildcat spirit,” WHS Principal Linda Peters told the crowd.“We’re so proud of these students. Not only did they meet the expectations and challenges that their high school experience presented, but they’ve achieved above and beyond, both inside and outside the classroom,” continued Peters. “We’re here tonight to commend them for their work ethic, academic achievement, and being individuals of outstanding character.”“You’re so fortunate to have grown up in a community that prides itself on giving back,” Peters told the seniors. “Some day, you may have an opportunity to give back to this very community that has provided you so much.”Businesses which presented scholarships included: Action Ambulance; Align Credit Union; Analog Devices; HUB International; interlinkONE; Lahey Health; Lowell Five Savings Bank; and Warner Babcock Institute For Green Chemistry, along with the Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce.Community groups which presented scholarships included: American Legion Post 136; Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary Unit 110; Friendship Masonic Lodge; Sole Sisters Running Club; Tewksbury/Wilmington Elks; Wilmington Community Fund; Wilmington Community Television; Wilmington Democratic Town Committee; Wilmington Kiwanis Club; Wilmington Rotary Club; Wilmington Sons of Italy Jr. Lodge; Wilmington VFW Post 2458; Wilmington Women’s Club; and We’re One Wilmington.Sports organizations which presented scholarships included: Wilmington Beyond TOPS; Wilmington Boosters Club; Wilmington Little League; Wilmington Touchdown Club; Wilmington Youth Hockey; Wilmington Youth Soccer; and Wilmington Pop Warner.School organizations which presented scholarships included: WHS CATS; WHS Medical Careers Club; WHS World Cultures Club; Wilmington Band Parents & Friends; Wilmington School-Business Partnership; Wilmington Strings Attached; and Wilmington Teachers Association.The Town of Wilmington, Town’s Veterans Department, Town’s Elderly Services Department, Wilmington Firefighter Union, Wilmington Police Association; and Wilmington Police Patrol Union also provided scholarships.Scholarships were offered in memory of: Tony Alonardo; Anthony Barletta; Joanne Benton; Joyce Brisbois; Laura Caira; Doug Chernovetz; George Cogan; Janet Coulouris; Christopher Crosby; Lawrence Cushing; Bob & Peg Dicey; Jonathan Fish; Kim Forte; Kimberly Jean Hall; Leo & Helen Harrington; Audrey Harrison; Don Jones; Frank Kelley; John Lucci, Sr.; Officer John Maguire; Kelli Murray; Kevin Nolan; Justin Andrew O’Neil; Carl Olsen; Claire & Herb Peterson; Ring Family; Jason Stevenson; E.H. Stuart; Barry & Marry Stuzell; Jay Sullivan; Sylvia Weiner; Hugh Wiberg; and Jack Wolfe.Academic Excellence AwardsThe Wilmington High School faculty also announced the top seniors in each department. Award winners included:Business: Nolan KaneEnglish: Jesse ValenteFamily & Consumer Science: Krista BrownHealth Dynamics: Bobby LordMath: Aditya GauthamScience: Aditya GauthamSocial Studies: Joana XingTechnology: Adele BurtonVisual Arts: Kendia NerestantWorld Languages: Brianna FerreiraZoe Marzi, Mia O’Connell, and Anna Pietropaolo received High Honors on the National Latin Exam. Vittorio Iocco (silver) and Aditya Gautham (bronze) received medals in the National Spanish Exam. Fariha Haque received an award from the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association.Fariha Haque was awarded the Paul Revere Bowl. Mia O’Connell, Marissa Lagrasso, and Adam Doucette received Marine Corp Student Awards. Jessica Moore received the Joanne Benton Dear Soldier Letter Award from iPods for Wounded Veterans.Principal Linda Peters also revealed the class’s final Top 10 rankings:#10) Dina Singh#9) Andrew Almedia#8) Mia O’Connell#7) Thomas Hogan#6) Jesse Valente#5) Gillian Lentini#4) Zoe Marzi#3) Fariha Haque#2) Aditya Gautham#1) Vittorio Iocco[Editor’s Note: Wilmington Apple apologizes for any misspellings. I was working strictly from what I *think* I heard and did not have a list of awards, scholarships or recipients.]Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Watch The 2019 Wilmington High Scholarship NightIn “Videos”SCHOOL COMMITTEE NEWS: Wilmington High’s New 4-Week Senior Internship Program Is A SuccessIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: WHS Students Receive Awards From National Merit Scholarship ProgramIn “Education”
If you have always been fascinated by the idea of flying a fighter aircraft on a combat mission for the Indian Air Force (IAF), you can do it right from the comfort of your living room now.The IAF launched an app on Wednesday that allows you to play a combat game on 10 different missions, including the surgical strike, using your mobile phone.The game named ‘Indian Air Force — A Cut Above’ was launched here by Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa.The game features a character similar to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with a gunslinger moustache as the mascot pilot, but this can be customised by a user. IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman met and interacted with his colleagues in Jammu and Kashmir.TwitterVarthaman was captured and later released by Pakistan after his aircraft was shot down in an aerial dogfight soon after the Balakot airstrikes.The missions on the app are dramatic. Take the surgical strike mission for example. Inspection of a damaged dam reveals that it was sabotaged by a terrorist group from a neighbouring country. India’s diplomatic engagements with the neighbouring country to mete out justice to the terrorist group fails. You go on a surgical strike mission to strike deep into the enemy camp with precision weapons.You choose a multi-role Mirage 2000 aircraft armed to the teeth with weapons such as the MICA, Griffin LGB, Spice 2000 bombs and 30 mm autocannons.With these, you drop laser guided bombs on the enemy camps, provide support to a team of ‘Garud’ commandos and also provide it cover to exfiltrate from the area.The game, which has been launched with a single-player version, includes nine other combat missions of similar nature.In the ‘natural disaster event’, the challenge for the player will be to provide humanitarian assistance after a dam breach occurs high up in the mountains.A player is required to carry out a combat air patrol and intercept incoming enemy fighters and bombers in ‘air defence ops’.In the mission ‘combat support ops’, a user will fly a heavy transport aircraft to provide much-needed supplies in forward areas. The player will provide close air support to on-ground troops flying an attack helicopter in the combat mission ‘anti-tank and SEAD’.The ‘offensive cap’ mission requires a player to use state-of-the-art electronic weaponry deep into the enemy’s airfields.In ‘air-to-air refuelling’, a player will be challenged to fill up tanks mid-air and provide fuel to teammates.The mission ‘maritime strike’ challenges a player to provide support to naval forces by intercepting incoming enemy warships.The ‘base defence mission’ challenges players to use SAMs, AA guns and shoulder-fired weapons to protect the base. A player faces the challenge to take on enemy mothership and unmanned aerial vehicles in the ‘futuristic weapons’ mission.The game can be downloaded from Google Play Store on Android and iOS platforms. In order to play the game, one has to register on the app using a valid e-mail id and password.There are also features of free flight and training apart from the game which can be played at three levels of difficulty — easy, medium and hard.The user has the option to choose between seven different aircraft including the Hawk, Mi-17, C17, Apache, Mirage 2000, Su-30 and Rafale. This set of aircraft does not include the Tejas, Bison or the MiG-29.There are three training missions available for the players, i.e., take off and navigation, armaments training and landing.The app has been launched with the collaboration of India-based developer Threye Interactive. It also contains a link to careers in the air force apart from the game.The IAF had earlier launched another mobile gaming app called ‘Guardians of the Sky’. However, the new game has more features and is a lot more interactive.