AzadiSAT: Satellite built by 750 girls to mark India’s 75th I-Day

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch 75 payloads developed and built by 750 girl students across India, marking the 75th year of Independence on August 15. Dubbed AzadiSAT, the payloads will hitch a ride on the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) set to conduct its maiden mission on August 7. 

The project, with a mission life of six months, is part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, to mark the 75th anniversary of Independence. The satellite will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9:18 am into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), India Today reported. 

AzadiSAT is the result of ISRO pushing for girls to take up Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The eight-kilogram CubeSat carries 75 different payloads, each weighing around 50 grams, that will conduct femto-experiments. 

Girl students from rural regions across the country were provided guidance to build these payloads, which were then integrated by the student team of “Space Kidz India”. The payloads include not just a UHF-VHF Transponder working in ham radio frequency to enable voice and data transmission for amateur radio operators, but also a selfie camera. 

AzadiSAT also has a solid-state PIN diode-based radiation counter to measure the ionizing radiation in its orbit and a long-range transponder. ISRO will use the ground system that is developed by Space Kidz India for telemetry and communicating with the payloads in orbit. 

“This is the first of its kind space mission with an all-women concept to promote women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) as this year’s UN theme is ‘Women in Space’,” Rifath Sharook, Chief Technology Officer at Space Kidz India, which has developed the satellite, had told PTI. 

The satellites will be launched onboard the newly developed Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) that aims to become the go-to option for ISRO to launch small payloads on an on-demand basis. The SSLV has been designed to launch a payload weighing 500 kg to a 500-kilometer planar orbit. By comparison, the PSLV can take up to a 1,750-kilogram payload into the Sun Synchronous Orbit at 600 km altitude. 

SSLV is a three-stage vehicle with all solid propulsion that will insert the satellites into designated orbits using a liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module. ISRO said that the features which will make SSLV attractive to customers are low-cost, faster turnaround time, flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites, launch on-demand feasibility, and minimal launch infrastructure required. 

The primary payload on the maiden mission will be the Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-02), an optical remote sensing satellite that will provide information about thermal anomalies in geo-environmental studies, forestry, hydrology, agriculture, soil, and coastal studies, the report added. 

 

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: ISRO)

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