Four city students have developed what could be the world’s lightest satellite which will be launched from a NASA facility in the US by August.
The first-year engineering students from Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science near Chennai built the 4cm ‘cube’ satellite ‘Jaihind-1S’ with a 3D printed outer casing from polylactic acid (PLA) nylon material, making it lighter than a medium sized egg, at just 33.39 grams.
The satellite has been designed and fabricated for the ‘Cubes in Space’ competition conducted by Colorado Space Grant Consortium, NASA, and doodle-learning. It will be flown on a scientific balloon up to an altitude of 70km.
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.
The satellite has sensor modules that are programmed to measure and record four different parameters per second. So, we will get a large amount of data as the balloon flies to an altitude of 70km for almost a day.