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Launch of a nanosatellite and a dream-come-true moment for 250 students

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The Times of India | Chethan Kumar | TNN |  Sep 26, 2016 |

BENGALURU: When the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-35 (PSLV C-35) takes off from Sriharikota at 9.12am on Monday, it will, among other things, carry the dreams of 250 students from Bengaluru’s PES University (PESU).  The mission, which will see the launch of SCATSAT-1+ developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) for ocean and weather related studies, will also put into space PISAT, a nanosatellite developed by PESU, in collaboration with SKR Engineering College, Chennai; Sona College of Technology, Salem; Veltech University, Chennai and Nehru College of Engineering, Thrissur. PISAT will take snapshots of Earth, with the focus on India. The Institute of Engineers has also played its part in bringing together all these colleges. Prof V Sambasiva Rao, whose brainchild the project is, told TOI: “It was amazing to see the overwhelming response from institutions and students. Even those who have graduated from college and settled elsewhere have the same spirit they had when they were attached with the project.”

Formerly with Isro and now with PESU, Rao said: “The initial idea was to get students to understand that space isn’t something that’s not understandable. The project has seen more than 250 students participate in building this satellite.” Developed in consultation with Isro and envisaged in 2011, the Rs 1.5-crore project had to undergo stringent performance and quality checks by a committee constituted by Isro. “Testings at the university’s research facility included card-level testing, interface testing, integrated satellite level testing, calibrating camera and finalizing parameters. Testing at the Isro facility covered calibration of sun sensor and magnetometer, vibration test and thermo vacuum test,” PESU said.
Ground station at college
The project has also seen the college get its own control station, which consumed most of the Rs 1.5 crore. The S-band Ground Station with both uplink (transmitting) and downlink (receiving) capabilities was commissioned in 2014, equipped with a motor-driven dish antenna mounted on the roof.  The ground station is capable of performing transmit and receive operations in the standard TT&C S-band and control the spacecraft. The antenna is configured to provide linear polarization for transmitting and receiving messages. Also, the programme-tracking capability facilitates the antenna to track Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites.


PISAT is a three-axis stabilized imaging nanosatellite built at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore.

* It weighs about 5kg and generates 13 watts power with S-band radio frequency communication.

* Major subsystems are: Imaging camera (80-meter resolution); On-Board Computer (OBC); Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS); communication system; Electrical Power System (EPS)

* Ground software was developed for on-ground orbit determination essential for mission operations. – Courtesy


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