A team of students from Manipal University are on a mission to make a nanosatellite, which is to be launched within the next two years. They are being guided by experts working in ISRO and and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. The team is named Parikshit.
Kanika Garg, 4th year aeronautical engineering student of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) and the project manager, said, Parikshit is derived from the Sanskrit name Parikshan, which means test. A typical nanosatellite would weigh anywhere between one and 10 kg. Nanosatellites are not only small, but also affordable. They can piggyback on larger launch vehicles, avoiding the need for a dedicated launch. From a military perspective, their small size allows them to avoid detection, Garg said.
For the sake of efficient distribution of time and resources, the work to be done by Parikshit has been divided into five phases. From July 2010 to October 2010, officials of Manipal University carried out a feasibility study. Interested students were invited to an orientation programme before the team was selected through a three-stage screening process.
Students were divided into various sub-systems based on their area of expertise. The sub-systems comprise Payload, Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS), Electrical Power Systems, Structure Thermal and Mechanisms, On-board Data Handling System, Computers, Communication and Ground Station sub-system. Each sub-system has a head who is also a member of the core technical team.
Parikshit also comprises a management and a web designing team. The first step in the process of building the satellite began in November 2010. The overall objectives were identified and a preliminary research was carried out on the basic methodology of nanosatellites. The work was reviewed by Dr. D. V. A Raghava Murthy, director of small satellites, ISRO. Among those guiding the team was Padmashree Dr. B. N. Suresh, former director, VSSC.
The payload was finalised and a review report was sent to the ISRO Satellite Centre in Bangalore. Since June 2011, the team has been finalising components required. By November 2011, the various constraints of each sub-system will be taken into account and a preliminary design of the satellite would be prepared.
After procurement of various components followed by a detailed analysis of each item, the team will begin assembling the satellite. Testing of each component will be conducted from December 2011 to May 2012 to check for space worthiness. In June-July 2012, the satellite will be subjected to thermal, vacuum, radiation and vibrational and other tests to check its robustness.
Courtesy: Times of India