IIT Kanpur & SRM University students put their first home-grown satellite in space
THE mission control room at the Sriharikota space station had some new faces on yesterday. Anxious engineering students and teachers from Chennai’s SRM University and the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur waited with bated breath as the PSLV soared into a clear sky loaded with the satellites fabricated by them.
Along with Megha-Tropiques, three satellites — SRMSat developed by SRM University, Jugnu, developed by IIT-Kanpur, and VesselSat-1 from Luxembourg — were also launched and placed into their respective orbits.
About 50 engineering students from different departments were involved in the design and development of SRMSat in the past two years.
In September 2009, a memorandum of understanding was signed between ISRO and the university for the development of the micro-satellite that weighs 10.9 kg.
According to the agreement, the SRM University designed, developed and built the satellite, while the space agency provided certain components.
The students formed different groups to work on various sub-systems — such as structure and thermal configuration, power system, payload, on- board computer and telemetry — of the cuboid- shaped satellite.
The objective of the satellite is to estimate and monitor greenhouse gases, carbon- dioxide and water vapour in the atmosphere, using a grating spectrometer. The satellite has three solar panels. Its ground station has been established in the university.
Its on- board computer comprises a micro-controller and provides 4MB storage space, which is sufficient for storing the payload data obtained over four days. The software runs on an operating system developed at the university.
The nano satellite Jugnu, designed and developed by IIT-Kanpur students, weighs three kg. It is intended to test the indigenously developed camera system for imaging the earth in the near-infrared region.
It will also test image processing algorithms and evaluate the GPS receiver for its use in satellite navigation.
The satellite’s ground station has been set up in the IIT campus.