SRMSAT-1 COMPLETES 40,000 ORBITS
SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur (Kancheepuram district)
Indigenously designed and built by students of the SRM Institute of Science and Technology in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the nano-satellite SRMSAT-1 has completed 40,000
orbits since it was launched on October 12, 2011 from Sriharikota.
Speaking about the significant milestone, Dr S R S Prabaharan, Joint Director (Research) at SRMIST, said that the satellite has outlived its original life span of two years and continues to send data to the
ground control centre in the campus at Kattankulathur in Kancheepuram district. Indeed, the satellite will complete nine years in space on October 11th this year.
An ambitious project conceived by SRMIST President Dr P. Satyanarayanan, the satellite is tasked to monitor and estimate carbon dioxide and water vapor in tropical atmosphere globally.
“We are proud of our students who built and launched the satellite with the help of ISRO,” Prof Prabaharan said complimenting all branches of engineering students and faculty mentors at SRMIST who came together to create the satellite. ISRO provided solar cells and batteries for the satellite apart from making available its facility at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota for the launch.
To demonstrate rendezvous and docking using an in-house developed docking port involving two small satellites. The students of Team SRMSAT have developed a novel design for a docking port which is unique in terms of its mechanism and operation. The two satellites will also accommodate scientific payloads that will operate in orbit after the demonstration in order to obtain useful data for the scientific community. Different fields of interest have been considered for this purpose and a few have been shortlisted, Dr Prabaharan added. The exact choices of payloads are currently under review and will be finalized after further communication with ISRO.
On upcoming initiatives of the SRM students who have formed a Team SRMSAT, he said one of the projects being proposed to ISRO was on how to neutralize and/or prevent space debris, he added.