“It doesn’t matter where you are coming from, All that matters is where you are going.” – This sits rightly on four students from Chennai who have developed world’s lightest satellite and which is to be launched by NASA in the US in August this year.
The 4cm ‘cube’ satellite ‘Jaihind-1S’ comes with a 3D printed outer casing from polylactic acid (PLA) nylon material, which makes it lighter than a medium sized egg and weighs a mere 33.39 grams. This unique satellite is the brainchild of the first-year engineering students from Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science near Chennai, as mentioned by TOI report.
The satellite is likely to be flown on a scientific balloon up to an altitude of 70 km and has been designed and fabricated for the ‘Cubes in Space’ competition conducted by Colorado Space Grant Consortium, NASA and idoodlelearning.
For 2 weeks, KJ Harikrishan worked with his three teammates P Amarnath, G Sudhi and T Giri Prasad to assemble the satellite and feed in the program.
Harikrishan said to TOI, “We designed the satellite to conduct three experiments – measure 20 weather parameters, test the nylon material in microgravity and track the trajectory while it is being flown. What makes the satellite unique is that all three experiments will be conducted at the same time.” This one costs 1,000 INR and is also the cheapest satellite, he added.
The faculty advisor of these students, Professor G Dinesh Kumar said, by opting for sensor modules and reducing the weight, the team has improved the efficiency of the satellite. This one has the capacity to measure more than one parameter at a time.
“We tested the satellite up to a height of 40 feet. We will be sending it to the US later this week,” the professor said to TOI.
Prior to this, Rifath Sharook, who is also from Tamil Nadu has developed a lightweight satellite to be launched in the same competition and it had weighed 4 grams.
Good luck to you guys.