NASA to Launch Lightest Satellite Developed by Chennai Students

First year students who designed the lightest satellite at Chennai. credit:Chennai Institute

This is so amazing for the first time in years to develop the lightest satellite using a 3D printed outer casing from a polylactic acid (PLA) nylon material to make it very lighter at just 33.39 grams. It will be launched by NASA by August this year. The students come from a Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science near Chennai.

This was just a competition for the cubes in space conducted by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, NASA, and doodle-learning, as it had been designed and fabricated for that purpose. On to 70km, the satellite will be flown during the scientific balloon. Sharook, also from Tamil Nadu, had developed a 64 grams satellite which was launched in 2017.

The satellite was developed to conduct three experiments, one was 20 weather measurement, test the nylon material in microgravity and while it is being flown had to track the trajectory. The three experiments will be conducted at the same time, that’s the interesting part of it. Also as the cheapest satellite, it only cost them Rs15,000.

Working with his three teammates, P Amarnath, G Sudhi and T Giri Prasad, Harikrishna and the team assembled the satellite and feed in the program in two weeks time. At the altitude of 70km the balloon will fly, and once it reaches that altitude, the sensor module starts measuring parameters like pressure, temperature, humidity and UV ray intensity as well as movement and the trajectory of the balloon.

Once the sensor detects the altitude temp, it will send the data to the SD card on board through a microcontroller. At the desired altitude, the satellite disengages from the balloon and fall, then the data will be retrieved from the balloon while the nylon material durability will be assessed too.

In order to measure and record four different parameters per second, there is a built-in programmed sensor module that is contained in the satellite. The student said that as per the altitude of 70km of a balloon, they will be able to file a large amount of data in a day.

By reducing its weight, according to Professor G Dinesh Kumar, the faculty advisor, they improved its efficiency opting, the sensor modules will measure more than one parameter at a time. The satellite was tested up to a height of 40 feet. This was a scientific improvement and for more research, was sent to the United States. #Rewordit


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