IIT Madras’ Satellite Project gets 1.5 Crore Fund from an Alumni!

CHENNAI: Thanks to one of its alumni, IIT Madras pet satellite project got Rs.150 lakh boost! This Rs.3 crore nano- satellite is to carry out research on high energy radiation belts in the upper atmosphere. It is to be completed by the end of 2015 and launched by ISRO.

The little one foot cube satellite that is being developed by a team of around 50 students of IIT Madras was provided the Rs.1.5 crore funding by a company of one of its alumni. The company is called Indo-US MIM Tec. Pvt Ltd, and the contribution was made as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

Van Allen Belts- This is what the satellite will study. These belts consisting of high energy particles found in the upper ionosphere can damage electronic substances due to their radiation. And hence they are one of the hazards of space missions.

This is really a very challenging area, and precisely the reason for the students of IIT to take up this mission. As of now NASA has an ongoing research to study the belt. “While NASA’s programme is focused on passing its system through the belt, we would do it with the satellite navigating below the belt,” explained R. David Koilpillai, the professor of Electrical Engineering at IIT Madras, who is involved with the project.

This satellite project has been going on for the past 5 years, and has generated much interest. The professor, “Some of our students who are involved with the project have completed their course and landed in jobs. But they still come during the weekends and make time whenever they can, to work with the project. There is a lot of excitement about the project.”

The satellite to be launched by ISRO would have a mission life of 1 year. All through this period, all the data collected by IITMSAT would be transmitted to the ground station, which would be set up in IIT-M campus, throughout the pass of the satellite.

The LEO or the Low Earth Orbit Satellite project has completed a detailed review by the ISRO. IITMSAT would be completely fabricated and tested by the students. As the testing requires the presence of high energy particles, it is supposed to be carried out at Atomic Power Station at Kalpakkam or at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai.

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