BITS Pilani Dubai Campus (BPDC), one of the UAE’s leading technical and engineering universities, recently launched and tested five Pico satellites using the Drone Satellite Launch Vehicle (DSLV) at Sanad College in Dubai.
The launch event was witnessed by Chief Guest, Dr. Eesa Al Bastaki, Rector of University of Dubai, Dr. Srinivasan Madapusi, Director of BPDC, BPDC staff and students.
The students were thrilled when the Pico satellites began transmitting real-time data on temperature, humidity, pressure, air quality, UV intensity and direction. Data is projected on a large smart board for visitors, giving them a Mission Control vibe.
The work, carried out by the BPDC in partnership with UAE-based Edutech4Space, a pioneer in space technology education, under the direction of Indian Moonman Dr Mylswamy Annadurai, marks an important first step towards the MAHASAT project.
A team of 30 undergraduate students from BPDC, studying different disciplines such as Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Biotechnology, etc., worked tirelessly to launch the Pico satellite within 6 weeks of the start of the MAHASAT project.
Dr Madapusi said: “Microsatellites are the future of space exploration and they are already making waves in classrooms around the world. While their low cost and relatively quick turnaround time make them invaluable from an educational standpoint, they also have the ability to Engage students in a project from initial thesis design to construction and testing to launch.
“Furthermore, it is an excellent training place to develop interdisciplinary skills and systems-level thinking that will be critical for the future. Through this hands-on experience in development, management and mission training, BPDC is providing the next generation of scientists with the ability to learn valuable skills opportunities, these skills will advance the UAE’s plans to become a regional hub for commercial space activities and advanced research and development.”
Dr Annadurai, who supervises and mentors BPDC students, said: “With the advent of space technology advancements, the availability of trained human resources will become critical. A very specific academic program has been developed in which BPDC students will To be trained to make a significant contribution in the field of space technology in the UAE and India.The university will also have its own ground station in the near future, enabling students to communicate with satellites, collect data, analyze data, and monitor weather, pollution levels , disaster management, etc. to make predictions.”
Shrisudha Viswanathan, Founder and CEO of Edutech4Space said, “Since we launched the MAHASAT project, we have conducted intensive training for future engineers and future scientists of BPDC. Carrying to 100m altitude is a unique endeavor for GCC. With this success, we are now ready to move on to phase 2, which is to install the ground station at BPDC before we finally build the engineering model and flight model of the cubesat.” — trade arab news agency