BITS Pilani Dubai campus launches 5 Pico Satellites

Satellites transmit real time data of Temperature, Humidity, Pressure, Air Quality, UV Intensity, and Orientation.

Drone Satellite Launch Vehicle was used to carry the satellites to an altitude of 100 meters.
Drone Satellite Launch Vehicle was used to carry the satellites to an altitude of 100 meters.

UAE-based Edutech4Space and BITS Pilani Dubai Campus (BPDC) in collaboration with Mylswamy Annadurai, Padma Shri Awardee and former Director of Indian Space Research Organization’s Satellite Centre launched and tested 5 Pico Satellites using Drone Satellite Launch Vehicle (DSLV) at Sanad Academy, Dubai. This effort marks a significant first step towards Project MAHASAT, an official release said.

The Pico Satellites transmitted real time data of temperature, humidity, pressure, air quality, UV intensity, and orientation. The data were projected on a large smart board for the visitors, giving them the ambience of a mission control centre. Present at the launch were dignitaries from the UAE, chief guest, Eesa Al Bastaki, president, University of Dubai; Srinivasan Madapusi, director, BPDC; faculty members and students of BPDC.

A team of 30 undergraduate students from BPDC studying in diverse streams such as Electronics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Biotechnology, among others came together and managed to launch the Pico Satellites within six weeks of the announcement of Project MAHASAT.

“With the emergence of advancements in space technology, availability of trained manpower is going to be crucial. A very concrete academic plan has been devised wherein students of BPDC will be trained to make significant contributions in the field of Space technology of UAE and India. The university will also have its own Ground Station in near future which will enable students to communicate with their satellites, collect data, analyse it, and create predictions on weather, pollution levels, disaster management,” Annadurai who is overseeing the Project MAHASAT and guiding BPDC students said.

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This is an excellent training ground for developing interdisciplinary skills and systems level thinking that are critical for the future, Madapusi said. “Through this hands-on experience in development, management, and mission training, BPDC is giving next-generation scientists a chance to learn valuable skills that will forge UAE’s plans to become the regional hub for commercial space activities and advanced research and development,” he added.

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First published on: 17-05-2023 at 16:29 IST