India: After a group of students launched a nano-satellite PISAT in the end of September, another group of students have started working on developing the PISAT-2 satellite at the university. While PISAT was launched using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), operated by ISRO, the PISAT-2, on the other hand, will have an ultraviolet imager that will stare at a single point in space for the lifetime of the mission.
“The goal is to search for variable sources, those that change in brightness. These may include explosive events like supernovae, exotic events such as planets falling into their parent stars or events in our neighbourhood such as nearby asteroids or comets,” a statement from PESU said.
Students will work with the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) on the project which will be supported financially by the university. The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has also evinced interest in funding the mission, sources said.
With an outlay of Rs. 2.3 crore, 18 to 24 months have been set for the launch.
“PISAT-1 was developed for Earth observation while PISAT-2 will help us head towards deep space exploration,” said Ajay Kumar, a student working on the project.
Explaining the difference between the two missions in terms of technological expertise, Divya Rao, a mentor for the project said, “PISAT-2 will be more advanced in terms of technology like the control systems onboard as well as the composition of the satellite which will have space grade components on board.”
Chancellor of PES University, M.R. Doreswamy said that the institute was committed to extending support for the design and development phase of the satellite. PISAT-1 in the meantime is functioning as per parameters and is healthy. The team will continue to use the satellite for earth observation in the coming months, a team member said.