The Anna University will develop a communication micro-satellite in “about three years” with support from the Indian Space Research Organisation. It will also examine the suitability of some technology upgradation/validation concepts.
Though a similar satellite could be ready in ISRO laboratories in “about 18 months” this Rs. 4.09-crore, ISRO- supported venture was aimed at “generating human resource for the space programme and building capacity in the university to undertake advanced research and development activities.”
The Vice-Chancellor, A. Kalanidhi, and the ISRO chairman, K. Kasturirangan, announced the proposed development of the micro-satellite here today. The Anna University was selected from among “a few institutions” all over the country, Dr.Kasturirangan said. The university-ISRO linkage was on the lines of the ones space research organisations in advanced countries had established with some universities.
It was also one of the most cost-effective ways of human resource development in space technology. The ISRO would encourage other leading educational institutions to take up such ventures.
Dr.Kalanidhi said the university was the first in the country to have a tie-up of this nature with the ISRO.
The development of the satellite will be taken up at the newly formed Centre for Aerospace Research on the MIT campus of the university. The centre is headed by a former ISRO scientist, Rajaram Nagappa, and will derive inputs from ISRO specialists. Once ready, the satellite will be launched as a piggyback payload on the ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.
The development of the micro-satellite will stick to basics for this is the first time a project of this scale is attempted in a university setting. It will weigh 60 kg, have body-mounted solar panels generating about 40 watts electrical power and will be spin-stabilised. It will also have a data store-and-forward payload for conducting experiments on message transfer across the country.