The largest satellite onboard is the ScatSat-1. It will better India’s ability to forecast cyclones – but five years on, it could also become a piece of space-junk threatening other satellites.
A fully integrated PSLV C-34 outside the vehicle assembly building and ahead of its launch on June 22, 2016. The vehicle flew in the XL configuration. Credit: ISRO
At 9.12 am on September 26, the Indian Space Research Organisation will launch a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket on its 37th mission. The rocket will be carrying eight satellites, the biggest of which will be the ScatSat-1. Of the remaining seven, two have been built by university students in India while the rest are commercial payloads from Algeria, Canada and the US. The mission designation is C-35, and will be launched from the first launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
Here’s what to look out for.
1. If successful, the launch will be the PSLV’s 33rd consecutive success
Before the September 26 launch: the PSLV has flown 36 missions (including developmental flights). Thirty-four have been successful – of which 32 have come consecutively. The last failure experienced by the rocket was in 1997, on its first operational flight.
Though this may seem like an impressive record, the PSLV has only the 16th best success rate. As of December 2015, it was 94%. The topper is the Delta 2: since 1989, it has aced 151 of 153 missions with 98 consecutive successes. Its success rate is 99%.
The C-35 mission will also be the 15th time the PSLV will launch in its XL configuration. The PSLV rocket has four stages: solid, liquid, solid, liquid. The first solid stage is one of the largest in use in the world, carrying 138 tonnes of hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene urethane-bound propellant. It is augmented by six strap-on solid-fuel boosters. In the XL configuration, these boosters are larger than those on the standard configuration. All 15 XL launches have been successful.
2. This is PSLV’s first attempt to insert satellites into multiple orbits in the same launch
The third stage solid-fuel motor of the PSLV C-35 during vehicle assembly. Credit: ISRO
In the C-29 and C-34 missions, ISRO launched the respective payloads and then shut off the PSLV’s fourth stage motor. In this period, the rocket continued to orbit Earth from pole to pole. In between, the motor was restarted and shut off twice. On both occasions, it was for the rocket to move from a lower to higher or higher to lower orbit.
When these feats were attempted for the first time with the C-29 mission, ISRO had said that they would come of use during multi-orbit launches, specifically the C-35 mission. The moving-between-orbits can’t be performed by a PSLV’s fourth stage motor right out of the box because restarting an engine in a cold, low-gravity environment is tricky. As ISRO had said in a statement on June 22,
PS4 stage is powered by twin liquid engines, which demands maintenance of critical parameters within the limit for overall controllability during restart. In view of these constraints and the long mission duration of around 7600 seconds between two restarts at two widely spaced points in orbit, appropriate measures were taken with overall mission planning and management, augmentation of control requirements, manoeuvring and controlling the vehicle into different orbits, reconditioning of propulsion systems and propellant management under micro-gravity conditions.
Until ISRO had this ability – to switch orbits during a launch – it faced two problems.
The first was one of costs. If two satellites that could be accommodated onboard a single PSLV rocket were to be inserted into different orbits, ISRO has had to launch them separately in the past. Since the PSLV is an expendable launch vehicle, this also means building two launch vehicles. Each costs around Rs 100 crore.
The second is one of execution. During the C-34 mission, the PSLV deployed 20 satellites in one go into a Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 505 km. After deployment, each satellite then used its built-in propulsion system to manoeuvre itself into its desired orbit. ISRO officials had said at the time that the vehicle had to constantly reorient itself to keep from launching one satellite into another. Now, if the vehicle is able to move between orbits during a mission, it can deploy multiple satellites with greater control and lesser risk.
During the C-35 mission, the PSLV will first deploy the ScatSat-1 at an altitude of 720 km (inclination 98º) some 17 minutes after launch. The remaining satellites will be deployed at 670 km (98.2º) almost two hours later.
3. The ScatSat-1 satellite will restore India’s ability to predict cyclones
ScatSat-1 being integrated with the PSLV C-35. The payload fairing is to either side. Credit: ISRO
The 377-kg ScatSat-1 is a weather-prediction satellite that will succeed the now-defunct Oceansat-2. The ‘scat’ in the satellite’s somewhat unfortunate name actually comes from the scatterometer it carries. A scatterometer is an instrument used to study atmospheric diffusion.
Using it, ScatSat-1 will study the incidence and behaviour of air vortices in the atmosphere, considered to be the seeds that evolve to become cyclones. Oceansat-2 was launched almost exactly five years ago (on September 23, 2009). It played an instrumental role in mitigating the effects of Cyclone Phailin on Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in 2013.
However, the scatterometer onboard Oceansat-2 went offline ahead of schedule in February 2014. Since then, we’ve been dependent on NASA’s RapidScat instrument onboard the International Space Station, which measures wind speed and direction over the oceans.
4. Mumbai’s first satellite? Yay! But there’s a problem.
A computer rendering of Pratham, a microsatellite built by the students of IIT-Bombay. Credit: iitb.ac.in
The satellite Pratham, built by students at IIT-Bombay, will launch onboard C-35 to an altitude of 670 km. There, it will enter into a Sun-synchronous orbit and study the ionosphere over four months. Some news reports have designated Pratham as “Mumbai’s first satellite” (even though it isn’t clear what it will be doing for the city specifically). Anyway, Pratham’s academic provenance is heartening.
The problem begins with what Pratham won’t be able to do but should have been able to: deorbit. Over time, Pratham will stop functioning as its battery runs out just as the drag exerted on it by Earth’s atmosphere will reduce. As a result, the satellite will effectively become a 10-kg hunk of junk descending toward Earth in a long and slow spiral, threatening hardware as well as space-walking astronauts in lower orbits along the way. The same is true of the 5-kg PISAT built by the students of PES University, Bengaluru.
According to NASA Spaceflight, the ISS “sports a number of battle scars” from “micro-meteoroid and orbital debris strikes”. In the event that NORAD is able to track a large piece of debris in the ISS’s path well in advance, the space station performs a debris avoidance manoeuvre to raise or lower its orbit by a few kilometres. This costs a lot of fuel. In the same vein, consider how the wider world would take it if something smashes into the beloved Hubble space telescope – or our own ASTROSAT.
The higher a satellite is beyond about 500 km, the exponentially longer it takes to descend low enough to start burning up. And 670 km is considered a high altitude for a satellite that needs to be in the low-Earth orbit. It needs to be noted at this point that ScatSat-1 also lacks a deorbiting mechanism. But at the same time, it also has a well-outlined mission objective that is more difficult to compromise on than the objective of a student-built satellite whose prime purpose is to educate the students who built it. Moreover, Pratham only has a lifetime of four months; ScatSat-1 is expected to function for five years.
If Pratham had had a deorbiting mechanism, it would’ve completed its mission and then shot itself toward Earth, burning itself up along the way without harming anyone or anything else.
The first student-built satellite from India that will have an experimental deorbiting mechanism is called Parikshit. It has been built at Manipal University and is currently undergoing tests. The mechanism in question is called electrodynamic tethering; the hope is that if Parikshit succeeds in demonstrating this tech, other university-sats will follow in incorporating it. According to an engineer involved with Parikshit, the team is targeting a December 2016 launch on board a PSLV rocket.
5. A healthy PSLV is instrumental to ISRO cashing in on the booming satellites industry
The commercial payload onboard the C-35 mission comprises the Algerian ALSAT 1B, 1N and 2B satellites; the American Pathfinder-1; and the Canadian CanX-7. Apart from them, the German Venta-1 and MaxValier satellite contracts are the ones remaining for ISRO to launch this year. Presumably, they will be launched onboard the C-36 mission (alongside the ResourceSat-2A and IITMSAT satellites) currently planned for October.
As of the C-34 mission, Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, had arranged for and executed the launch of 74 foreign satellites over 17 ISRO missions. In August 2016, PTI reported that, as a result, Antrix had made a profit of Rs 896 crore since 2011.
Commercial launches are important for ISRO and Antrix because… well, that’s what they’re banking on. ISRO is developing low-cost launchers not just for India’s needs because also to present itself as a low-cost launch option for foreign satellite-makers. According to a recent report, the satellite-manufacturing and -launching industry will grow at 4.95% a year from now until 2020. And the PSLV XL is one of the best in its class (see table; provided by Prateep Basu/Quora) when it comes to launching these satellites.
According to a 2015 report compiled by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there will be 26 payloads launched to the geosynchronous orbit, and 151 to other orbits, in 2017. The FAA also adds that the “satellite services market is generally robust”. The Satellite Industry Association estimated that revenues in the satellite manufacturing and services sectors grew by 4% from 2014 to 2015, reaching $16.6 billion and $127.4 billion respectively.
6. Pathfinder-1 is going up, and you should keep an eye on it. It’ll have one on you.
An artist’s rendering of a Kestrel Eye satellite. Credit: US Army
Pathfinder-1 is a satellite operated by BlackSky Global, an American startup that provides Earth-observation services. And it’s the first of a constellation of 60 satellites that will eventually form a network for “tracking economic assets, monitoring illegal maritime activity, providing humanitarian relief” and “securing troops and borders”, among other things, by 2019.
The Pathfinder network’s USP is how it will communicate. Most satellites in orbit around Earth communicate with ground stations using radio waves. When a satellite collects some information, it is encoded in radio-frequency waves and relayed to networks on the ground, which then distribute it. As a result, there is a significant delay between when an image is commissioned and when it is finally delivered.
The BlackSky Pathfinders, on the other hand, will use technology derived from the American military’s Kestrel Eye satellites to provide near-realtime reconnaissance capabilities.
A BlackSky Pathfinder satellite. Credit: SpaceFlight Inc.
This is achieved in two broad ways. First, in the legacy of Kestrel Eye, the Pathfinders will optimise data-processing and delivery such that an image is commissioned, captured, processed and downlinked in a span of 10 minutes. Second, the constellation will operate in a low-inclination (40-55º) Sun-synchronous orbit – allowing each satellite to pass over a spot on the ground up to six times a day, but never at the same time on different days. They will also be positioned at an altitude of about 450 km, allowing each satellite to be quickly brought down if it becomes obsolete and replaced with a newer version. BlackSky plans to do this once every three years.
The Pathfinders are being built by a company called SpaceFlight Inc. This company used to be called Andrews Space and had been contracted by the US Army Space and Missile Defence Command in 2013 to build the Kestrel Eye Block 2 satellite.
7. This is the fifth PSLV launch this year – en route to ISRO’s target of >12 launches every year
This year, at least one more launch remains (to hoist the German satellites) after the C-35 so ISRO can fulfil its contractual obligations. Compare this to the organisation’s future target: 12-18 launches a year, achieved using an ISRO-industry collaboration led by Antrix the specifics of which haven’t been finalised yet. To these ends, ISRO is building a second vehicle assembly building at its Sriharikota spaceport. ISRO officials have said that such a partnership is necessary to ensure the PSLV is able to lift more mass to space each year.
This graduation of the PSLV – from getting ready in the 1990s to establishing itself in the 2000s to finally becoming a symbol of ISRO’s progress in the 2010s – has only become possible thanks to its repeated successes and reliability. As a space entrepreneur recently remarked to this writer: “If you put something on the PSLV, you know it will reach orbit.” Ahead of the September 26 launch, too, the levels of apprehension are much lower than what they are ahead of every GSLV launch. And nothing less than one more perfect launch is expected from the PSLV
The Steel and Industrial Forgings Limited, a public sector company owned by the State government, has developed Alpha titanium alloy hemispherical forgings for cryogenic stage (C25) of GSLV –MK 3 (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle – Mark III) for the Indian Space Research Organisation.
“Alpha Titanium Alloy is one of the difficult to forge materials due to its high flow stress coupled with tendency of cracking. With modified processing parameters and design innovation, the problem was eliminated. Due to this effort, direct pay load gain advantage is achieved. Thus more Transponders can be loaded in satellite,” said P.K. Mansoor, Senior Manager, Steel and Industrial Forgings Limited (SIFL).
M.K. Sasikumar, SIFL managing director, handed over the technology development document to K. Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, who visited the SIFL recently. VSSC Deputy Directors P.V. Venkata Krishnan and S. Aravamuthan were also present.
The SIFL has been associating with the ISRO for the last 25 years for its projects, including PSLC, GSLV, Chandrayan, Mangalyaaan, relaunch vehicle and indigenously developed a number of forgings, Mr. Mansoor said.
The SIFL has supplied gas bottle forgings of different sizes with a material titanium alloy, pure titanium, and inconel.
An aerospace standard AS-9100-Rev-c certified organisation, the SIFL has indigenised many works for the HAL, BrahMos missile, Arjun battle tanks, DMDE and Railways, he added.
Deputy Director Satish Dhawan Space Centre V. Ranganathan.
India is getting ready to deploy an indigenously developed rover on the lunar surface for on-site analysis of various samples and relay them to the earth station.
Senior ISRO scientist and Deputy Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre V. Ranganathan told The Hindu on Saturday that they were in advance stages of deploying the rover. The timing of its launch is not yet finalised.
Chandrayaan-II Mission includes launching of lunar explorations by geosynchronous launch vehicles (GSLV Mk-II) with clinical precision. The wheeled rover would be useful in using multiple applications by collecting soil and rock sediments for on-site analysis and transmitting the findings to the earth station.
ISRO has also taken up ambitious programme to build vehicles with cryogenic engines with bigger capacity than GSLV, Mr. Ranganathan, who came here to take part along with other scientists in World Space Week celebrations, said.
Stating that synchronisation of earth movement and the satellites was very important for their success, he said compared to all other countries, the success rate of India’s satellite launch programme was very impressive due to focus on quality, cost effectiveness and optimum utilisation of manpower.
Deputy Project Director of LVM-3 B.V.V.S.N. Prasada Rao, who is part of team from ISRO visiting the city, said India was ahead of other countries in space technology by continuously test-firing and deploying satellites of various types and configurations for use for communication and other applications.
LMV3, a full-fledged vehicle will be launched in the first half of 2017. Mr. Rao said the heavy launch capability launcher would enable ISRO’s self-reliance in launching of satellites. It will send four tonne class geosynchronous satellites into the orbit.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu receiving a memento from ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar at the valedictory of World Space Week celebrations at Andhra University in Visakhapatnam Monday. Photo: C.V.Subrahmanyam
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday announced the decision to establish incubation centres in all the universities in Andhra Pradesh to undertake research based on space technologies following an understanding reached with the top scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation.
Disclosing this at the valedictory of World Space Week celebrations after talks with ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar, Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) Director P. Kunhikrishnan and Vice-Chancellors of various universities, he said they were the first to involve students in a big way to take up research to ensure inclusive development.
Mr. Naidu also announced the constitution of a committee comprising experts from various universities and ISRO in ensuring proper use of remote sensing and other data in conceiving innovative ideas into startups and subsequently commercial ventures.
The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over enthusiasm shown by the students of Andhra University in photographing 5,000-odd toilets opened during Krishna Pushkarams for monitoring the cleanliness on real-time basis and said the government would sanction Rs.25 lakh initially for forming a startup at AU to monitor cleanliness at all public toilets.
Underlining the need for the students to innovate through out-of-the-box ideas, he said the time had come to use technologies to find out solutions to various problems faced by the people.
Mr. Naidu said the State was in the forefront of using technologies for e-governance and fixing responsibility at various levels for hassle-free administration. He said the chapters of Innovation Society formed by the government would be opened at various universities.
Referring to the decision to set up incubations centres at various universities, he said once the startups become commercial ventures, they could market their products not only in the State but also earn money by providing them to other parts of the country.
In his address, ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar recalled the contribution of Vikram Sarabhai for pioneering research in space technology and said his dream for revolution in communication had become a reality now with smartphones becoming part and parcel of daily life.
“Today we are able to predict weather at least 48 hours in advance and enable fishermen to locate fish easily through Global Positioning System. This has saved fishermen over Rs.20,000 crore in fuel and reducing voyage time,” he pointed out.
Mr. Kiran Kumar said India was now ranked among top few countries in making advancement in space research. “As on today we have launched 38 satellites on earth, navigation and communication as space has become the platform where there are no boundaries,” he commented.
The noted space scientist said India’s maiden lunar mission Chandrayaan-I had made a landmark breakthrough on formation of water molecules on lunar space.
HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Panchayat Raj Minister Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu, AU Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao and MP K. Haribabu were present.
Nellore: India’s communication satellite GSAT-18 was launched by a heavy-lift Ariane rocket from Kourou in French Guyana early on Thursday. The launch, scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed due to bad weather locally.
The 3,404-kg GSAT-18 carries 48 transponders in C-band, upper extended C-band and Ku-band to provide telecommunication services.
While the Ku band is for fixed and broadcast services, the C band is used for long-distance radio telecommunications, satellite transmissions, some Wi-Fi devices, some cordless telephones, and some weather radar systems. It also has a Ku band beacon to help ground antennae tune accurately to the satellite.
The Ariane 5 VA-231 of the European Space Agency lifted off at 2am IST and placed the GSAT-18 in orbit after a flight of 32 minutes and 28 seconds. The satellite was placed in a highly elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit. The elliptical orbit is 251.7 km from the earth at its closest (perigee) and 35,888 km at its farthest (apogee).
Isro’s Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka took command immediately after separation, and reported that preliminary health checks on the satellite showed everything was normal. The satellite will be raised to a geostationary orbit 36,000 km above the equator.
After the completion of these operations, the two solar arrays and the antenna reflectors of GSAT-18 will be deployed. The satellite will be put in its final orbital configuration.
The GSAT-18 cost about Rs 350 crore. Isro has spent nearly `500 crore on its launch. The cost can, however, be recovered within two years by leasing the transponders, Isro officials said. The satellite has an estimated life of 15 years.
Plan is two-pronged and satellites can range from 10 kg ‘micros’ to 300 kg-500 kg ‘minis’
Even as it moves into making heavier communication spacecraft weighing 4,000 kg to 6,000 kg, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has also firmed up a strategy to a make increasingly smaller satellites for earth observation and scientific, experimental and other missions.
The plan for small satellites is two-pronged and can range from 10 kg ‘micros’ to 300 kg-500 kg ‘minis’. A series of 350-kg ‘mini’ satellites, probably with high resolution cameras and innovative features, will be built in the near future for the ISRO’s own remote-sensing uses.
They will be built on the decade-old IMS-2 platform on which the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) has earlier brought out half a dozen EO (earth observation) satellites.
It also plans to build 10 kg or smaller nano and micro satellites using a 100 kg IMS-1 platform. This will offer ready and reliable micro and nano satellite ‘shells’ on which the Indian Institutes of Technology, universities and even start-ups can put their experimental payloads or devices.
The idea is to encourage users to save time to import a suitable small satellite and instead focus on test novel concepts on the satellites. IMS stands for 80 kg Indian Mini Satellite, launched in 2008.
The 300 kg - 400 kg class may be the new norm in Indian EO. “In future, we may put three EO satellites, each with a mass not more than 350 kg, at a time on a PSLV. They will be for remote sensing, weather or science missions,” ISAC director M. Annadurai told The Hindu. Such a plan, he said, would also need fewer launch vehicles, efforts and time.
Dr. Annadurai said that going small was in tune with the global trend and “a logical extension of what we were already doing a decade ago.”
The ISRO’s own remote-sensing satellites, he said, had been getting progressively smaller, from close to 1,000 kg to the recent 370-kg Scatsat-1 to monitor ocean weather.
Considering the growing interest among universities and start-ups to use sub-100 kg satellites as test beds, the ISAC can readily provide them the basic spacecraft using a “two-stack” configuration somewhat off the shelf. The user can later add a payload or application of 5 kg on to this. Today, university satellites take three years to materialise and involve students from two or three batches.
This affects continuity, quality and interest levels in the teams and risk producing “me-too” satellites with no new ideas. “We want to bridge these gaps,” he said.
Dr. Annadurai said that student satellite projects come up with interesting and relevant experiments and need to be encouraged. One such corelates ionospheric phenomena with impending earthquakes. To lessen debris they could be made to decay faster by putting them at lower 450 km orbits, among others.
The ISRO, too, used small satellites to test its concepts. IMS-1 was the test bed for elements that went into Chandrayaan-1 of 2008.
The Indo-Russian Youthsat of 2011 experimented with spacecraft autonomy that was the hallmark of the 2014 Mars Orbiter Mission and future planetary missions. A pre-loaded Scatsat-1 required very few commands.
Euroconsult, Paris-based consulting firm specialising in space commerce, in its July report takes note of the “unprecedented” growth of this sector globally. It estimates that more than 3,600 small satellites are expected to be launched over the next 10 years, much more than during the last decade.
Their market value, including the cost of satellites and their launch fee, is put at at $22 billion - which would be 76 per cent more than what it was in the previous decade (2006-15).
The delay in the South Asian satellite also comes at a time when the regional grouping’s annual summit in Islamabad has been called off following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan, in the wake of the Uri terror attack.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious South Asian satellite project, announced two years ago, is likely to miss the December deadline as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch GSLV Mark III that month.
“ISRO has been launching at least one satellite every month, so our calender is perennially packed and at this point of time it looks difficult to launch the South Asian satellite in December. It could get delayed by a month,” a senior official said.
Launching of GSLV Mark III will be a crucial development in the country’s space history. The Launch Vehicle is likely to be sent in the space by December end.
“Work on GSLV Mark III is in progress, but the date for the launch is yet to be arrived at. The project will help ISRO launch satellites weighing around four tonnes,” ISRO chairman and Department of Space Secretary A S Kirankumar told PTI.
ISRO currently has the capability of launching satellites weighing up to 2.2 tonnes.
It has launched two satellites in September, and it is expected that October will also see launch of two more satellites. On August 28, it conducted the first experimental mission of Scramjet Engine.
The delay in the South Asian satellite also comes at a time when the regional grouping’s annual summit in Islamabad has been called off following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan, in the wake of the Uri terror attack.
“We are working on the South Asian satellite project, but no date for launch has been finalised,” Mr. Kirankumar said.
Mr. Modi, during the regional bloc’s 2014 Summit in Kathmandu, had announced launching of a SAARC Satellite as a ‘gift’ to its neighbours in order to expand information sharing and connectivity within the region.
SAARC had come into being on December 8, 1985 and the initial plan was to operationalise the satellite in December this year.
However, Pakistan opposed the move and demanded that the satellite be brought under the ambit of the grouping. This was unacceptable to India. The name was later changed to South Asian Satellite.
Barring Afghanistan and Pakistan, all other SAARC countries have given their go-ahead to the project.
Simulated lunar craters created in Chitradurga to plan Lander’s descent
The Indian Space Research Organsiation started a series of ground and aerial tests linked to the critical Moon landing of Chandrayaan-2 on Friday, at its new site at Challakere in Chitradurga district, 400 km from Bengaluru.
ISRO Satellite Centre or ISAC, the lead centre for the second Moon mission, has artificially created close to ten craters to simulate the lunar terrain and test the Lander’s sensors.
A small ISRO aircraft has been carrying equipment with sensors over these craters to plan the tasks ahead.
ISRO, along with a host of other scientific and strategic agencies, owns vast land for its future missions at Challakere, in a ‘Science City.’
ISAC Director M.Annadurai told The Hindu, “The campaign for the Lander tests of Chandrayaan-2 has started. Tests are conducted over the simulated craters at Chitradurga. We are using an aircraft to assess whether the sensors on the Lander will do their job [later] of identifying the landing spot on the Moon.”
Chandrayaan-2 is tentatively set for late 2017 or early 2018 and includes soft-landing on Moon and moving a rover on its surface.
Landing on an alien surface is very complicated, said Dr. Annadurai, who was also the Project Director for the successful Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission of 2008.
In the coming months up to March, ISAC would conduct many tests: on avionics and electronics; testing the Lander’s legs, followed by a combined full test, at Bengaluru and Chitradurga.
The mission includes an Orbiter, a Lander and a Rover, all being readied at ISAC in Bengaluru. The Orbiter spacecraft when launched from Sriharikota will travel to the Moon and release the Lander, which will in turn deploy a tiny Rover to roam the lunar surface — all three sending data and pictures to Earth.
Yogi Vemana University has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for exchange of technical knowhow for research in the fields of communication, GPS and agricultural data, Vice-Chancellor A. Ramachandra Reddy said on Wednesday.
YVU has ISRO nodal centre on its campus, he said. Mr. Ramachandra Reddy exhorted the faculty members to strive to work with ISRO network and secure projects from the government. The Vice-Chancellor and Rajkumar Chowdary of ISRO signed an MoU in the university.
Prof. K. Krishna Reddy said YVU secured the first project when Mr. Madhavan Nair was ISRO Chairman. The 20-year project was working on estimating the changes in the ionosphere in the atmosphere and change in evaporation density, he said.
Mr Rajkumar Chowdary said the project was aimed at developing the multi-purpose GPS signal receiver system.
YVU Registrar Nazeer Ahmed said the university has been working with ISRO for the last seven years and was pursuing research on troposphere. Dr. Venkataramu said agreements were also reached with Spain and Germany on research on material sciences.