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In a 1st, stabilised PSLV 4th stage to be used to conduct in-orbit experiments; June 30 mission to launch 3 Singapore satellites

The Times of India logo The Times of India 22/6/2022 Chethan Kumar
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BENGALURU: In a first, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will be using a "stabilised" fourth stage of the PSLV launch vehicle to conduct in-orbit experiments. This — PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) — will be tested in the PSLV-C53 mission scheduled for 6pm on June 30, which will launch three satellites from Singapore.

Through POEM, Isro said on Wednesday, it proposes to demonstrate the utilisation of the spent upper stage of the launch vehicle as a stabilised platform for scientific payloads subsequent to the separation of the satellites.

“POEM activity performs in-orbit scientific experiments using the spent PS4 (fourth) stage as an orbital platform. It is the first time that the PS4 stage would orbit the earth as a stabilised platform. Attitude stabilisation is achieved using a dedicated NGC (navigation, guidance and control) system,” an Isro statement read.

POEM will derive power from the solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank and a Li-Ion battery. It navigates using four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyros & NavIC. “It carries dedicated control thrusters using Helium gas storage and is enabled with the telecommand feature,” Isro added.

The last stage will carry six payloads including two from Indian Space start-ups Digantara and Dhruva Aerospace, enabled through new regulator IN-SPACe and Space PSU NSIL.


Elaborating on the actual launch, Isro said the PSLV-C53 mission’s 25-hour countdown will begin at 5pm on June 29.

“PSLV-C53 is the second dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL). It is designed to orbit DS-EO satellite along with two other co-passenger satellites from ST Electronics, Singapore. This is the 55th mission of PSLV and 15th mission using the PSLV core-alone (CA) variant,” Isro said.

The TOI was the first to report that the PSLV-C53 will carry three Singapore satellites. “A four stage, 44.4m-tall PSLV-C53, has a lift-off mass of 228.4 tonne. It would inject the DS-EO into an orbit at an altitude of 570km,” Isro said.

It added that the first satellite, the DS-EO, is a 365kg satellite, while the second one, NeuSAR, a 155kg satellite, is Singapore’s first small commercial satellite carrying a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) payload.

“Both belong to Singapore and are built by Starec Initiative, Republic of Korea. The third satellite is a 2.8kg Scoob-1 of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. The DS-EO carries an electro-optic, multi-spectral payload with 0.5m resolution imaging capability while NeuSAR is capable of providing images in day and night and under all weather conditions,” the statement read.

The SCOOB-I, Isro said, was the first satellite in the Student Satellite Series (S3-I), a hands-on student training programme from the Satellite Research Centre (SaRC) at Singapore’s NTU School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

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