Indian Space Station
Published on 31 March 2009
First student-made satellite to take off in April
India's first student-made satellite will take off from Sriharikota either on April 5th 2009 or April 6th 2009, riding piggyback on ISRO's Risat satellite until it separates and flies into its own designated orbit, Called Anusat, the micro-student satellite will be launched by the four-stage PSLV. It has been designed and developed by 37 aerospace engineering students with the help of 10 of their teachers of the prestigious Madras Institute Of Technology (Anna university), the alma mater of former President and rocket scientist A P J Abdul Kalam.
"This is the first time we are launching a satellite made by students and the idea is to motivate the younger generation to work for India's space missions," ISRO's chief spokesperson S Satish said.
Madras Institute of Technology's R Dhanraj told TOI that the satellite will operate in the low earth orbit at an altitude between 600 and 800 km. It is equipped with a "store and forward" payload and the data will be received both at the Chennai tech university as well as Pune University. The satellite will mainly be used for amateur communication purposes, providing students with a hands-on experience about space sciences and technology.ISRO officials said the agency has been promoting the development of micro-satellites at universities to familiarise students in critical areas like structures, thermal management, controls, guidance, power systems, command and data handling and communications.Chennai's Anna University, of which the Madras Institute of Technology is an affiliate, was the first institution in India to seriously take up ISRO's offer to design and develop a micro-satellite. IIT-Mumbai and IIT-Kanpur are also in the process of designing and developing micro-satellites.The Anusat programme, initiated in 2002, is the brainchild of R Vasagam, former vice-chancellor of Anna University. Vasagam was previously the director of ISRO's Apple satellite project.
Additional technical specification about the satellite is available here.
AnuSat was launched successfully on April 20th, 2009. The satellite is functioning normally even after two year of launch.