Yes, you read that right. College of Engineering Pune(CoEP) took their zeal for invention and innovation to the next level. They made a Pico satellite named Swayam which was launched today i.e Thursday, 22nd June 2016 at 9:25 am as per Indian Standard Time. ISRO launched this satellite along with its satellite CartoSat-2C from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The live screening of the same was done at the Main auditorium of COEP.
What is a Pico satellite?
A Pico satellite AKA miniaturized satellite is an earth-orbiting device having lower mass and smaller physical dimensions than a conventional satellite , such as a geostationary satellite. Miniaturized satellites have become increasingly common in recent years. They are well-suited for use in proprietary wireless communications networks, as well as for scientific observation, data gathering and the Global Positioning System.
How did they do it?
CoEP student’s satellite group was working on making a Pico Satellite- “Swayam” for last eight years. The project was started in year 2008. Since then every year around 40-45 students from across the disciplines were working on making a nano satellite of size 10*10*11, weighing 990gm. Each passing batch has trained the newly inducted students with the help of their faculty members and ISRO. About 176 students have worked relentless for designing and developing this satellite.
Uses of Swayam?
It has a payload capable of half duplex communication, which will enable the satellite to host point to point messaging services – so it can receive, store and transmit messages from one corner of the globe to the other. A ground station has been set up within the college premises from where communication with the satellite will be established. The satellite will be useful in improving telecommunication in rural areas.
Swayam has a mission life of 1 year and its total cost until now has gone up-to 35 Lakh. Hardware and software for digital communication has been distributed to many places in India as well as across globe including Spain, Germany and Russia, those ground stations or laboratories will be able to communicate trough Swayam and track Swayam.
We applaud this project done by CoEP and its students. Such out-of-the-box projects inspire students to break free from conventional learning and embrace creativity, invention and innovation.