Mangalyaan’s Hyderabadi connect

Mangalyaan’s Hyderabadi connect

The success of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is a proud moment for every Indian. It’s even more praiseworthy that a firm from the city played a crucial...

ECIL’s state-of-the-art antenna is being used to receive images from Mars. It was indigenously built at a cost of Rs 65 crore. The antenna was earlier used for ISRO’s highly acclaimed lunar mission Chandrayaan-1

The success of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is a proud moment for every Indian. It’s even more praiseworthy that a firm from the city played a crucial role in ensuring the mission’s success. The Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), which works under the Department of Atomic Energy, provided a 32-metre Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antenna needed for tracking, telemetry and command applications for the Mars mission. The antenna was provided through Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC).

The antenna, which weighs around 300 tonnes, was built indigenously at a cost of Rs 65 crore in association with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) and ISTRAC. It precisely points to the Mangalyaan, which is currently orbiting around the red planet, almost 65 crore kilometres away from the earth.

The antenna system employs state-of-the-art technology which features a precisely formed reflector surface, wheel and track mount, beam wave guide feed systems and servo system capable of positioning the sub-reflector to compensate gravity deformations when the antenna moves from 0 to 90º elevation. The system is installed at Bylalu village which is about 40 kilometres from Bengaluru.

ECIL was involved in the project right from framing the specifications to testing and commissioning of the antenna system. The making of the 32-metre diameter IDSN antenna involved almost all the disciplines of engineering like soil mechanics, structural engineering, mechanical, RF & Microwave and control engineering.

ECIL even positioned its professionals for the antenna system at Bylalu during the entire journey of Mangalyaan, spread over a period of almost 11 months.

“The first pictures received from the Mangalyaan through the antenna were of good quality. The antenna will continue to play a vital role during acquisition of data and photographs from Mars using five scientific instruments which form a part of Mangalyaan’s payload,” the ECIL stated.

This is not the first time that the antenna is being used. Earlier in 2008, the same antenna was used for India’s first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1.

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