BITS Pilani Dubai Campus (BPDC), one of the UAE’s leading technology and engineering universities has recently launched and tested 5 Pico Satellites using Drone Satellite Launch Vehicle (DSLV) at Sanad Academy, Dubai.

The launch was done in the presence of the Chief Guest, Dr Eesa Al Bastaki, President, University of Dubai, Dr Srinivasan Madapusi, Director, BPDC, Faculty members and Students of BPDC.

Students were thrilled as the Pico Satellites started transmitting real time data of temperature, humidity, pressure, air quality, UV intensity, and orientation. The data was projected on a large smart board for the visitors, giving them the ambience of a mission control centre.

Significant step

This effort undertaken by BPDC in collaboration with UAE-based Edutech4Space, a pioneer in the field of space technology education, and under the mentorship of the Moon Man of India Dr Mylswamy Annadurai marks a significant first step towards the Project MAHASAT.

A team of 30 undergraduate students from BPDC studying diverse streams such as Electronics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Biotechnology etc. came together and worked tirelessly to launch the Pico Satellites within 6 weeks after the commencement of Project MAHASAT.

Dr Madapusi said: “Pico Satellites are the future of space exploration, and they're already making waves in the world's classrooms. While their low cost and relatively quick turnaround time makes them invaluable from an education perspective, they also have the power to engage students in a project from its initial paper design to building and testing to launch.

Training ground

“Further, this is an excellent training ground for developing interdisciplinary skills and systems level thinking that are critical for the future. Through this hands-on experience in development, management, and mission training, BPDC is giving next-generation scientists a chance to learn valuable skills that will forge UAE’s plans to become regional hub for commercial space activities and advanced research and development.”

Dr Annadurai, who is overseeing and guiding BPDC students, said: “With the emergence of advancements in space technology, availability of trained manpower is going to be crucial. A very concrete academic plan has been devised wherein students of BPDC will be trained to make significant contributions in the field of Space technology of UAE and India. The university will also have its own Ground Station in near future which will enable students to communicate with their satellites, collect data, analyse it, and create predictions on weather, pollution levels, disaster management etc.”

Shrisudha Viswanathan, Founder & CEO of Edutech4Space, said: “We had an intensive training with upcoming engineers & future scientists of BPDC from the time we started the project MAHASAT. Using Drone Satellite Launch Vehicle (DSLV) to carry the 5 Pico Satellites to an altitude of 100 metres is a unique attempt in GCC. With this success we are now geared to move for Phase 2 which is ground station installation at BPDC before we finally build the Engineering model and flight model of cubesat.”

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