The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module is a platform that will help perform in-orbit experiments using the final, and otherwise discarded, stage of ISRO’s workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
About PSLV Orbital Experimental Module of ISRO
- The PSLV is a four-stage rocket where the first three spent stages fall back into the ocean, and the final stage (PS4) — after launching the satellite into orbit — ends up as space junk.
- However, in PSLV-C53 mission, the spent final stage will be utilised as a “stabilised platform” to perform experiments.
- POEM is carrying six payloads, including two from Indian space start-ups Digantara and Dhruva Space.
- POEM has a dedicated Navigation Guidance and Control (NGC) system for attitude stabilisation, which stands for controlling the orientation of any aerospace vehicle within permitted limits.
- The NGC will act as the platform’s brain to stabilize it with specified accuracy.
- POEM will derive its power from solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank, and a Li-Ion battery. It will navigate using “four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyros & NavIC”.
- It carries dedicated control thrusters using Helium gas storage. It is enabled with a telecommand feature.
Has ISRO repurposed and used PS4 rocket junk earlier?
- The Indian space agency first demonstrated the capability of using PS4 as an orbital platform in 2019 with the PSLV-C44 mission that injected Microsat-R and Kalamsat-V2 satellites into their designated orbits.
- The fourth stage in that mission was kept alive as an orbital platform for space-based experiments.
- Kalamsat-V2, a student payload, first to use PS4 as an orbital platform, was taken to its designated orbit about 1 hour and 40 minutes after lift-off.
- While in that mission, the fourth stage had Li-Ion batteries, solar panels are an addition this time. The latest repurposing and upgrade of the fourth stage of the PSLV rocket involves stabilization of the orbital platform.
- PSLV-C53 is the second dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).
- It is designed to orbit DS-EO satellite along with two other co-passenger satellites from Singapore.
- DS-EO carries an Electro-Optic, multi-spectral payload that will provide full color images for land classification, and serving Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief needs.
- NeuSAR is Singapore’s first small commercial satellite carrying a SAR payload, which is capable of providing images in day and night and under all weather conditions.
- SCOOB-I satellite is the first satellite in the Student Satellite Series (S3-I).
- This is the 55th mission of PSLV and 15th mission using PSLV-Core Alone variant.
- It is the 16th PSLV launch from the second launch pad.
- The mission proposes to demonstrate the utilization of the spent upper stage of the launch vehicle as a stabilized platform for scientific payloads subsequent to the separation of the satellites.
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