(Times of India) — Students from Russia and India are building a satellite that will provide amateur communication services including capturing and transmitting images from space. The Iskra-5 Cubesat 1U is being built by 20 students from Moscow Aviation Institute and 9 from Indian cities like Chennai and Bangalore through Space Kidz India to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
The satellite will be transported to the International Space Station by mid-October, 2017 through cargo spacecraft from where it will be placed in orbit by a cosmonaut during a spacewalk.
Irina Lupitsina, International Department, Moscow Aviation Institute said they decided on a long-term cooperation program and jointly build and launch a satellite after students from Space Kidz India visited the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre and Moscow Aviation Institute between October 2016 and Jun 2017. “The objective is strengthen our partnership with India,” she told ToI in an email interview.
The cube satellite, which is at present undergoing a series of tests, will weigh less than a kilogram. It will carry payloads that will help provide amateur communication including transmission of images in the SSTV format from space. “The period of the cubesat after it is launched from the ISS is about three to five months,” Lupitsina said. The satellite will be tracked and data will be collected in a ground station in Russia.
The Iskra satellites were a series of soviet amateur communication satellites built by students and radio amateurs at the Moscow Aviation Institute in the early 1980s.Srimathy Kesan, founder, Space Kidz India said that the subsystems in the satellite being built in MAI is made by Russian students while the outer cube has been designed by Indian students.
The satellite had gone through a series of technology tests while it is being built. “An antenna has been developed which has gone through a cycle of tests including in an anechoic chamber (chamber that absorbs sound and electromagnetic waves). The onboard digital computer that we have designed will soon undergo tests,” Lupitsina said.
Kesan said they will be building another satellite in 2018 to test 3D printed material, as part of the collaboration.