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Soon, a Student Satellite (STUDSAT-2) that tracks ships

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Students of the consortium of colleges at work in their laboratory

Students belonging to engineering colleges in the city and state are developing a satellite which can track ship movements and prevent collision of ships. The Student Satellite (STUDSAT-2) which is currently being developed by a consortium of colleges and to be launched by ISRO will carry an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for ship tracking payload. “One of the payloads which will be onboard the STUDSAT-2 is an AIS for ship-tracking. So far, AISes have been ground-based and for the first time, a nano satellite will be carrying an AIS for ship tracking,” said STUDSAT-2 project director Dr S Sandhya. AISes can track ships, avoid collision of ships and also help in the smooth movement of vessels in the deep seas. In 2011, ISRO had launched RESOURCESAT-2 which carried an AIS payload from COMDEV, Canada, which provides ship surveillance in VHF band.

Also onboard the STUDSAT-2 will be a HAM radio payload. “We will have another payload to help the HAM community connect with each other and help in communication during times of disasters and natural calamities,” Sandhya said. She added that the team of students who have been working on the development of the satellite have already completed the design flow. “The design stage has been completed the components have been selected and the first cut has been made. The mission is in progress very well and we are waiting for ISRO which is coming out with new guidelines for student satellites,” she added.

A team of more than 150 students is involved in the STUDSAT-2 project, which is likely to be launched by 2019. STUDSAT-2 is a successor of India’s first pico (miniature) satellite- STUDSAT, which was launched in 2010 by ISRO. It is being developed by students of seven colleges, namely: Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, NMAM Institute of Technology, MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Sri Siddhartha Institute of Technology, RNS Institute of Technology and Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology. – Courtesy

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