Tamil Nadu university plans Centre for Space Technology


Chennai : As an Indian rocket prepares to sling into orbit Wednesday a nano-satellite built by its students, SRM University has announced plans to set up a Centre for Space Technology at its campus near here.

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It will be in consulation with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said a top official.

“It is in the planning stage,” SRM president P. Sathyanarayanan told reporters here Monday. “Once our satellite is launched, the talks with ISRO will progress. It may take around five or six months to come into shape.”

ISRO will Wednesday launch the Rs.1.1 crore nano-satellite SRMSAT built by student of SRM University as a piggy back rider to the bigger weather satellite, Megha-Tropiques, with its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket.

The satellite, weighing around 10 kg, was designed and built by a group of 50 students drawn from various disciplines in the university over a two-year period.

Using a grating spectrometer, the satellite will monitor greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and water vapour in the atmosphere.

According to officials, a separate ground station has been built to monitor the satellite during its two-year life span.

D. Narayana Rao, director of research at SRM University, said ISRO would initially monitor the satellite and a week later SRM University would track it from its ground station.

He said the Unversity would continue to work with ISRO and there is a possibility of designing another satellite in two-year’s time.