Record-breaking Mission by PMIST Women Students Exclusively
Dr. Mylswamy, former Mission Director, ISRO, along with the Women Students’ Team, Faculty – Guides and other members at the Satellite launching site
(PMIST – 21st April 2019)
Head, Department of Aerospace Engineering,
Prof. Dr. K. Selvam, PMIST
“Means of transport would mostly be in the air and at a great speed. Wireless communicative devices pocketable in shirts (mobile phone) would be provided for all. Radio might be in the hats of everyone. Equipments, enabling the dispatch of images through mail would be in enormous usage. Convenience in conversation could be possible, face to face through such mailing meehanism (Skype). One will be able to contact instantly anyone anywhere. Education could be imparted easily far and wide.”
– Periyar (1938) on ‘The World to come’
Social Revolutionary Periyar E.V. Ramasamy (1879-1973), ‘The prophet of New Age’ as cited by UNESCO in 1970, was able to forecast as above, the development of science and technology during the early 19th century. He delivered the same in a public speech during 1938 to a vast audience; who were unable to read and write. Periyar, always, thought in his original way and propagated the same to the society till his 95 years of social life. It is quite interesting to learn, what has been transformed into reality today in the science age. A record has been set in the higher educational institution established in his name by the trust formed by his successor E.V.R. Maniammaiar.
The record breaking project made exclusively by the women students of Periyar Maniammai Institute of Science and Technology (PMIST) (Deemed to be University) Vallam, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu resulted in successful launching of Asia’s first balloon satellite. Yes, the degree students of various science and engineering disciplines of PMIST have successfully launched the satellite: SKI NSLV 9 Maniammaiyar Sat. The women students’ team designed and developed the in-house satellite for commemorating the birth centenary year of E.V.R. Maniammaiar.
Exhilarating the motto of PMIST – Think, Innovate and Transform, a team of 15 women students launched the designed satellite with the support of a high altitude balloon filled with Helium gas.
Pioneers in the NSLV (Near Space Launch Vehicle) missions, ‘Space Kidz’ (India), Chennai conceptualized the idea, mentored and trained the team. The preparatory schedule of the mission lasted for about two months.
The duration from launching to landing the satellite on Earth took about 4 hours.
The satellite was launched exactly by 11.42 a.m. on 21st April 2019 from the PMIST campus. The original schedule was to reach a height of about 70,000 feet in the sky, expand manifolds due to the prevailing atmospheric temperature. At one point of time the balloon would burst or shrink and the launched satellite starts descending. The parachute annexed to it gets open and brings down the payload. The payload landing site will be plotted in the map and the retrieval team takes over the payload for data analysis study.
Electronic Mechanism of the Satellite:
The satellite was capable of sending live telemetry consisting of vital data and flight parameters throughout the flight.
The telemetry contains call sign, pocket number, latitude, altitude, velocity, heading, GPS time, temperature etc. All these data are subject to processing by a micro controller and transmitted using a radio. As per the design, the data recorded from sensors are stored in an inbuilt storage fixed in the payload; however a camera affixed will capture the images and store them in on-board storage device. The GPS receiver helps to receive data and tracking the landing point for retrieving the payload.
Space altitude naturally begins at 100 kms above Earth’s surface. The satellite launching was aimed at only within a particular limit; this distinguishes the mission from that of launching a satellite into space by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization).
The launching event preparation held in the presence of Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, Former Director, ISRO; who served as chief guest, along with several academicians and students. General public in large numbers witnessed this landmark launching grand event from peoples’ university.
‘SKI NSLV 9 Maniammaiyar Sat’ Team of Women Students of PMIST
* The Satellite went up to the height of 1,03,852 feet (32 kms) that has set the record of the FIRST in Asia.
* The launching target was planned originally to a height of 70,000 feet in the sky but it went beyond that touching almost the stratosphere near the border of space.
* The entire data recorded while ascendance and landing down were retrieved fully from the payload immediately after landing.
* 30 years back PMIST was started as the exclusive engineering college for women, first in the world which later got upgraded Deemed to be University. The satellite project was associated exclusively by the women students, who hail from rural areas and families, not of high educational background.
Launching and Landing: A ground station was established at the Institute for monitoring the four hours mission. The satellite exceeded 1,03,852 feet (32 kms) than the planned altitude. After reaching certain height in the sky, the Helium balloon got burst or struck due to the change in the prevailing temperature at such altitude. Then the satellite started to descend with the parachute attached to it for the smooth landing. The descending route was followed up by the team at the ground station situated at the PMIST campus. The launched satellite was expected to land around the PMIST campus around 40 kms radius. The descending site was traced by the team and they reached the point of landing. At last the ‘SKI NSLV 9 Maniammaiyar Sat’ landed at an agricultural field called ‘Sungathidal’. The team collected the satellite and brought it back to the ground station at PMIST to retrieve the data for analysis.
The Certificate of Asia Book of Records issued immediately after the successful launching of ‘SKI NSLV 9 Maniamamaiyar Sat’
Dignitaries witnessed the launching: Such mission of launching balloon satellite by educational institutions warrants a lot of clearances from the Government of India, Airport Authorities, and the office of District Collector etc. At the time of launching the satellite, many bureaucrats and heads of fraternal educational institutions witnessed it along with the chief guest Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai were: Dr. Srimathikesan, chief executive officer of Space Kidz (India), Prof. Dr. A. Thiruvalluvar, Principal, Kunthavai Nachiar Government College of Arts & Science, Thanjavur, Mr. Harish, Adjucator, Asia Book Records, R. Siddharthan, Joint Director, Defence and Health, Government of India. Besides Group Commander Pirajwal Singh, Wg. Cd. Nitin Upadhya, Wg. Cdr. Anish Nair, Air force Station, Thanjavur attended the launching event.
Record and Recognition: The Asia’s First Balloon Satellite launching by PMIST was recorded and a Certificate of Recognition was issued by Asia Book of Records whose representatives witnessed the successful launching of the satellite.
Recent Past, Present Records and the Resolve for Future:
For the current year (2019) Asia Book of Records has recognized ‘the unique concept of an all-women team to launch a balloon satellite. During the previous year (2018) Periyar Maniammai Institute of Science and Technology (Deemed to be University) Vallam, Thanjavur was awarded ‘All India Best Private University’ in India 2018 by ASSOCHAM on the World Entrepreneurs’ Day 2018 at New Delhi.
As a Vision for 2020, PMIST has announced that they will establish the ‘Centre for Excellence in ROBOTICS’ at PMIST campus. This Centre will aid in training all the school and college students, majority of them hail from rural backgrounds as first generation graduates.
Periyar’s Mission of educating and enlightening the suppressed society; who were denied such opportunities has been gaining momentum with significant velocity, being acclaimed nationally and internationally.
PMIST – Mission Team
S. Nivetha, P. Pranavee, S. Jansi Rani,
R. Subha Laxmi Dash
G. Anumandhra, V. Kanagapriya,
Electronics & Communication Engineering
S. Siva priya, S. Sushma
Computer Science Engineering
K. Abinaya, D. A. Agnes Archana,
P. S. Meenalaxmi
Electrical and Electronics Engineering
B. Jayasree, M. Sangavi,
E. Gnana Sundari
Faculty – guides
Convener: P.K Srividhya
Co-ordinators: R. K Muthuraman,
V. Nagaraj, R. Ramani,
Dept. of Aerospace Engineering