Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Anna University, formally
announced on February 15, 2002 at Chennai, the proposed development of a
micro-satellite by Anna University. The announcement marks a significant
milestone in ISRO's pursuit to strengthen its University linkages that could
help generate human resources for the space programme and build capacity in the
Universities to undertake advanced research and development activities.
According to the announcement, Anna University will build the micro-satellite
and ISRO will launch the satellite as a piggyback payload on its Polar
Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV. The satellite will be developed in about three
Being the first of its kind for an Indian University in spacecraft development,
the micro-satellite will be a comparatively simple one weighing around 60 kg.
It will have body-mounted solar panels generating about 40 Watt of electrical
power and will be spin-stabilised. It will have a data store-and-forward
payload for conducting experiments on message transfer across the country.
The micro-satellite development will be a good opportunity for the students and
the faculty of Anna University to get an insight into the various aspects of
space technology. It will also help them to conduct meaningful application
studies and gain experience in satellite mission operations. Anna University
will establish necessary facilities for the satellite development including a
clean room for assembly and testing besides providing other support facilities
to sustain the activity. ISRO will provide technical and managerial guidance,
besides necessary financial support.
It may be noted that, globally, there has been an interest in the development of
micro-satellites by several universities. It is one of the most cost-effective
ways for human resources development in space technology. These
micro-satellites could be used to test advanced technologies for future
operational satellites or for larger scientific missions. The advantage of
micro-satellites is that they can be launched as piggyback payloads along with
a primary satellite like IRS thus making the Micro-satellite launch affordable.
The Universities can provide a multi-disciplinary environment to combine the
educational and research capabilities into a focused programme. It is in this
context that the proposal for development of micro-satellite by Anna University
assumes significance. This is expected to provide impetus for other
universities to take up similar projects in the coming years. ISRO will pursue
other leading educational institutions in the country to take up such ventures
in order to enrich and build necessary capabilities within the university
system and stimulate interests among the younger generation to take up
challenging careers in science and technology.