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ISRO flooded with enquiries for building student satellites

STUDSAT designed and developed by a consortium of seven engineering colleges from Bangalore and Hyderabad.

BANGALORE (PTI): ISRO has received enquiries from educational institutions and universities to help aid building student-built satellites following the recent successful launch of STUDSAT, a leading scientist has said.

STUDSAT was designed and developed by a consortium of seven engineering colleges from Bangalore and Hyderabad.

ISRO has been receiving enquiries with around 22-25 educational institutions and universities displaying interest in building small satellites, said Raghav Murthy, Project Director, Small Satellite ISAC, Indian Space Research Organisation.

The country's first pico satellite, STUDSAT along with Catrosat 2B was put in orbit by a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on July 12 with the help of ISRO.

Interest in building student satellites has also been spurred by the fact that many students overseas have built satellites and launched it. Indian students now feel they had the competence and are eager to build one, he said.

"We have asked them to currently hold on as there were still four student-built satellites that were yet to be launched, apart from Studsat," he said on the sidelines of the Bengaluru Space Expo 2010, a four-day exhibition on space, satellites and technologies.

The four satellites were Jugnu, built by IIT Kanpur students which had 'IR camera', Pratham built by IIT Mumbai which would measure free flowing electronic content and two others by Satyabhama and SRM University in Chennai to measure trace gases in the atmosphere.

"We have also asked these institutions to join together and work on a project rather than each doing it individually", he said. The students involved in the projects were drawn from second year BTech to fourth year students of the course.

Explaining ISRO's role in these projects, he said, "We provide guidance, consultancy and testing facilities". The entire cost of building the satellite, which roughly runs into a crore, was borne by the institutions themselves. "The launch of the satellite was free", he said.

A team from ISRO has been identified to help students in building satellites and reviewing their work.

He said that many of the students displayed great passion in the project. "We had one student who had conducted 300 simulations of an antennae and had checked on three different software. Such is the dedication", he said.

Murthy said ISRO might consider absorbing some of those who had worked on these projects.



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