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Nano Satellites

Nano Satellites
Highlights

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched Cartosat-2 series satellite and 30 co-passenger satellites carried by India’s Polar Satellite...

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched Cartosat-2 series satellite and 30 co-passenger satellites carried by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C38) on June 23 at 9:20 am from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The satellite is sixth in the series named as Cartosat- 2E and weighs about 714 kg.

The series is actually an earth observation satellite that provides high-resolution scene-specific spot images including data in various scales. It is operated and maintained by ISRO. It was a proud moment for Noorul Islam University on Friday as the Indian rocket PSLV lifted off successfully with the varsity-made nano satellite NIUSAT along with ISRO's Cartosat and 29 co-passenger foreign satellites.

Varsity Chancellor Majid Khan along with the students and teachers rejoiced at the lifting off of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The nano satellite was built from scratch by the students of the NIU, located in Tamil Nadu, about 30 km from the Thiruvananthapuram railway station. The NIUSAT weighs 15 kg and costs Rs 37 crore.

It would provide multi-spectral imagery for agricultural crop monitoring and disaster management support applications. In the past, PSLV-C37 carried two ISRO Nano Satellites – INS-1A and INS-1B. ISRO Nano Satellite (INS) is a versatile and modular Nano satellite bus system envisioned for future science and experimental payloads.

The INS system is developed as a co-passenger satellite to accompany bigger satellites on PSLV. The primary objectives of INS system are to: Design and develop a low cost modular Nano satellite in the weight range of 10 kg capable of carrying payloads up to a weight of 5 kg; Provide an opportunity for ISRO technology demonstration payloads; Provide a standard bus for launch on demand services; and Provide an opportunity to carry innovative payloads for Universities / R&D laboratories.

One challenge of using nanosats has been the economic delivery of such small satellites to anywhere beyond low-Earth orbit. By late 2014, proposals were being developed for larger spacecraft specifically designed to deliver swarms of nanosats to trajectories that are beyond Earth orbit for applications such as exploring distant asteroids. As of June 2014, more than 1,000 nanosats are projected to be launched in the next five years, according to Wikipedia.

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