As a part of engaging with Indian academia to conduct a yearly Space School program as a part of its outreach activity. In 2013, a Small Satellite Developer Workshop was organised by Dhruva Space, in association with National Institute of Amateur Radio, Hyderabad. The workshop was hosted at the campus of the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing, Kancheepuram, between 8-13 July, 2013. There were 25 participants with varied backgrounds but with a common interest in Small Satellite Technology.
The workshop was conducted to provide a basic understanding of Small Satellite development and usage of ballooning for commercial applications. The lecture sessions were combined with hands-on hardware development sessions. The participants fabricated and tested a Software Defined Receiver in the presence of research engineers from the industry, giving them a practical exposure. Sessions by Small Satellite experts with engineering models on display helped participants to grasp the challenges in designing and developing the subsystems of the small satellites.
To understand space based applications an Amateur Radio workshop was conducted to give participants an example of usage of communications during disaster management. The addressing of satellite experts and small satellite companies across the globe provided a holistic purview of the current technological situation, which was in-turn used during the team design project.
The program enabled the participants to engage with the industry. Research engineers of Micronova Impex, Bangalore, provided the participants a hardware realisation experience with the development of a software defined receiver (SDR). Cycloid Systems, a Bangalore based 3D printing start-up showcased its technology for printing a 1U Cubesat and was very effective as a teaching aid at the small satellite developer workshop. This is the first time that a Cubesat has been 3d printed in India and proved that 3D printing can be effectively used in the process of satellite development for prototyping. Global partners of Dhruva Space interacted with the participants of the Small Satellite Developer Workshop. Peter Platzer (CEO, NanoSatisfi), Lars Alminde (MD, GomSpace), Tom Segert (Director, Berlin Space Technologies), were among a few. Berlin Space Technologies Gmbh also provided 10 scholarships for students to attend Space School 2013.
With the involvement of experienced scientists in the Indian Space program, the participants could witness some of small satellite hardware, which was showcased during the sessions. Prof Loganathan, a former ISRO scientist and current project director of SRMSAT and STUDSAT shared his experiences of building small satellites during the program.
Keeping up the tradition, we intend to host Space School 2014 involving academia-industry-agency to encourage development of small satellites and creating a sustainable eco-system for space research in the area in India.