B'lore students do their dons proud

“Ours is the first college in India to put up an earth station to receive the signals,” a visibly jubilant Professor Jharna Majumdar, Dean R&D of the Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology (NMIT), Bangalore, told Deccan Herald here.

STUDSAT equipped with a payload camera with spatial resolution up to 90 m, one of the five satellites successfully launched by PSLV-C15 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here on Monday, could be used for weather predictions and obtaining terrain information, Majumdar said.

The NMIT had led the consortium of seven engineering colleges — four from Bangalore and three from Hyderabad — whose students with help from ISRO built this pico satellite as it is called in technical parlance.

All seven colleges contributed to the cost of building the satellite which came to Rs 55 lakh, Majumdar said. Of this Rs 5 lakh was given by the Karnataka Science and Technology Council.

The NMIT pumped in another Rs 45 lakh from its own funds for a ground station in its campus to receive the signals, she explained even while her students group back at Yelahanka got the first taste of a scientific vindication when they their mini-satellite got into a talk mode from above.

The idea of involving engineering students was to promote space technology in educational institutions and to help build synergies between the university system and ISRO in developing miniaturised satellites.

The onboard computer system, altitude determination and control systems, up to finally tracking the satellite from its orbit “at our own ground station”, was an exciting and rewarding activity, she noted.

“Some of our students saw their foreign counterparts making presentations at a seminar in Hyderabad and approached the ISRO with a why-no-give-us-a-chance-plea,” Majumdar said. The ISRO agreed to it. And today, they stood triumphant.

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