PSLV space jaunt to carry dream work of City students

The launch vehicle will lift-off at 9:22 am on MondayM R Venkatesh Chennai: As the countdown begins for the CARTOSAT-2B launch in Sriharikota spacepor

The 17th Polar Satellite launch Vehicle (PSLV-C15)  that will carry the CARTOSAT-2B, India’s latest advanced remote sensing satellite, will also help their ‘masterpiece’, called STUDSAT by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), get home to space. The launch vehicle will lift off at 9:22 am on Monday. The PSLV-C15 will put the main payload, the CARTOSAT-2B, weighing more than 694 kg in a 630-km Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit. The STUDSAT, comprising four auxiliary satellites jointly built by a consortium of engineering colleges, will ride piggyback on the main payload. 

Though technically called a picosatellite as it weighs about 650 grams, the STUDSAT, along with other payloads, would be “more or less launched in the same orbit” as the CARTOSAT-2B,  ISRO sources told Deccan Herald on Saturday. The satellite has a camera that will take pictures of the earth with a 90-metre resolution, they said.

The STUDSAT has been developed by a team led by Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology at Yelahanka in Bangalore. The other City-based engineering colleges involved in this unique project include BMS Institute of Technology, M S Ramiah Institute of Technology and R V College of Engineering.

The colleges from Hyderabad that took part in the project are Chaithanya Bharathi Institute of Technology, Institute of Aeronautical Engineering and Vigyan Institute of Technology and Science. The satellite was built with help from ISRO scientists.

The project helped the students to get exposure to the basics of space technology, besides understanding the concepts involved in satellite building and launch, ISRO sources said.

The PSLV C-5 will also carry three other auxiliary payloads, including the 116 kg-ALSAT-2A of Algeria, which is a small remote sensing satellite. Two nano-satellites, NLS-6.1 AISSAT-1 weighing 6.5 kg, built by the Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto, Canada, and NLS-6.2 TISAT-1, weighing 1 kg, built by the University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland will also be launched along with CARTOSAT-2B and STUDSAT.

Another GSLV flight

The flaws that led to the failure of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV D3) flight on April 15 carrying India’s first indigenously-developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) engine is being rectified and another GSLV flight with CUS is being planned within a year, the ISRO has said.

Multi-disciplinary experts of the ISRO’s ‘Failure Analysis Committee’, after a study on what went wrong with GSLV-D3 that plunged into the Bay of Bengal minutes after its take-off from Sriharikota, have pointed out that up to the vehicle’s second stage, 293 seconds from lift-off time at 4:27 pm, the vehicle’s performance was normal.

The committee’s findings released by ISRO on Friday said the CUS main engine had “ignited” as initially held by the ISRO scientists. The vehicle’s acceleration was comparable with that of the earlier GSLV flights of up to 2.2 seconds from the start of the CUS.

“However, the thrust build up did not progress as expected due to non-availability of liquid hydrogen (LH2) supply to the thrust chamber of the main engine,” the findings, further reviewed by a National Group of Eminent Experts, said. The lack of thrust build-up was due to the failure of the Fuel Booster Turbo Pump. Though it kick-started normally, it slowed down and stopped within less than a second.

“Corrective measures have been recommended and a series of confirmatory ground tests planned,” the ISRO said, adding that after incorporating the corrective measures, another GSLV flight with indigenous CUS engine is being targeted within a year.

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