CHENNAI: Sathyabama University students on Saturday handed over a nano satellite built entirely by them to ISRO which will place the satellite in orbit sometime in June this year. The 15 students forming the mission team saw their dream one step closer towards reality. The project was funded by the university management.
At a function organised in the campus, the satellite was officially handed over to the ISRO in the presence of C A Prabhakar, project director, and other university officials.
Speaking to Express, B Sheela Rani, Vice-Chancellor and in-charge of the mission management, said “the satellite, which took six long years to be developed and required the contribution of six different student batches, cost around `1.5-2 crore. The MoU for the satellite was signed between the university and ISRO in 2009.”
A dedicated ground station has been established on the university premises to receive data relayed by the satellite, which will be deployed in Low Earth Orbit (lower altitude). The data will then be shared with ISRO as well as the Indian Meteorological Department. Significantly, the ground station will be manned by students of the university themselves.
Though the expected lifespan of the satellite is six months, students who have worked on it say that post that period, the satellite can be used as a simple transponder for amateur radio operators to facilitate long-distance communication. The students described the experience as working on the project as fortuitous.