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StudSat - Substitution of dangerous chemicals

StudSat is a CubeSat satellite developed by students. This project was conceived and managed by students across India. STUDSAT-1 is a pico satellite, a miniaturized satellite that was successfully launched into sun-synchronous orbit on July 12, 2010 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center. The aim of the mission was to enable students to gain hands-on experience designing, manufacturing and realizing a space mission at minimal cost. Experimentally in nature it has been stated that the mission life is six months.

StudSat-1 was the first pico satellite launched by India and the smallest satellite launched locally by an Indian organization.


The project was initiated by a group of four students from different engineering schools from Hyderabad and Bangalore who attended the International Astronautical Congress, 2007, Hyderabad, India after meeting Mr. DVA Raghavamurthy (Project Leader, Small Satellites, ISRO Satellite Center) at the congress. From then on, the team expanded slowly and finally completed the concept. After analyzing the financial budget, the students turned to the management of their respective colleges for sponsorship. The colleges, in turn, turned to the Indian Space Research Organization for a preliminary review of the project. ISRO scientists approved the preliminary design review after a series of meetings with detailed presentations from the students. The first four-person team was expanded to include around 45 students from 10 different colleges. Seven of the colleges formed a consortium to provide financial sponsorship for the project. The colleges are bound by an internal letter of intent managed by the Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in Bangalore as a representative college to complete the formal letter of intent with ISRO

STUDSAT was successfully put into orbit and received the first signal on July 12, 2010 at 11:07 am IST.

Studsat consortium

The Studsat consortium consists of seven engineering colleges from Hyderabad and Bangalore, which are bound by a letter of intent to fund the project. The consortium consists of the following colleges:

  • Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Bangalore. [Lead College]
  • MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore.
  • Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering, Bangalore.
  • BMS Institute of Technology, Bangalore.
  • Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
  • Aviation Technology Institute, Hyderabad.
  • Vignan Institute of Technology & Science, Hyderabad.
  • RNS Institute of Technology, Bangalore.
  • Sri Siddhartha Institute of Technology, Tumkur.


The satellite resembles a small rectangular cube with length dimensions of (10 cm x 10 cm x 13.5 cm), a weight of almost 950 g and a volume of 1.1 l. The satellite was launched in a sun-synchronous orbit of 700 km. The satellite fulfills the function of a remote sensing satellite and takes pictures of the earth's surface with a resolution of 90 meters, which is best achieved worldwide by satellites in the "PICO" category. The satellite consists of the following subsystems:

A ground station is designed to communicate with the satellite. The NASTRAC (Nitte Amateur Satellite Tracking Center) ground station, which was set up in NMIT, was designed by Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, the current chairman of ISRO. All of the above subsystems are designed by local students.

Current status

The satellite has completed its missionary life. The CDR was carried out in NMIT, where several scientists, notably Prof U.R.Rao, former chairman of ISRO, assessed the design. The CDR has been approved by ISRO. The satellite was launched on July 12, 2010 by PSLV-C15. The team had taken control of the satellite from the ground station at the Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology (NMIT) in Bangalore. The satellite is no longer in contact with the ground station.

Two line element sets (TLE) from StudSat-1 are:

  • 1 36796U 10035B 12227.08525431 .00001146 00000-0 15376-3 0 2565
  • 2 36796 098.0573 303.0904 0014305 346.6376 013.4443 14.81257111

Source: AFSPC


The STUDSAT team continues the legacy and builds two nano satellites to prove the concept of inter-satellite link (ISL). The design of the twin satellites STUDSAT-2A and STUDSAT-2B has dimensions of 30 cm * 30 cm * 20 cm and a weight of less than 10 kg. The main objective of the STUDSAT 2 project is to develop an inexpensive small satellite capable of serving small scientific or technological payloads where real-time links are provided via satellite links.


The team presented a paper entitled "Studsat - A Student Pico Satellite for Imaging" at the 2008 International Astronautical Congress, held in Glasgow, Scotland. The team won the Hans von Muldau Prize for the best team project awarded by the International Astronautical Federation and sponsored by the German Aerospace Society. The team also set a national record (INDIA) by creating the LIMCA BOOK of RECORDS-2011 Edition for creating India's smallest satellite.

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