Going places. That is sure what VSSUT Satellite Team has been doing since almost a year now. Since it’s inception, it has always grabbed the spotlight for all the right reasons. There aren’t any shortcuts to a place worth going. VSSUT Satellite Team has proved this to be true to the core by its team of meticulous workforce, constant dictum of devotion and the aggregation of accolades each day. To keep their momentum going, The Team is for ever under the guidance of the best. This excerpt presents the journey of these like minded people who came together and did a commendable job in forming a conglomerate of ideas and currently presenting the VSLV at various national, international forums. The magnitude of diligence and the altitude of success have always been at par for this Student Driven Mission.
It was just the onset of an idea , that led to the dawn of this student driven project , and since then it has never been downhill. A first of its kind, it is India’s first Multi-purpose Student Rocketry mission, that aims to launch the payload, retrieve it back and reuse again with multipurpose usage.
The conception of the idea started somewhere in the middle of June of 2016, when the team leader Bodhisattwa Sanghapriya, a then youth innovation awardee, came up with an intuitive idea of developing VSSUT’s own Satellite, that could scale up the Hirakud Dam which is prone to several dangers like sedimentation of sand and other sediments that the Mahanadi river brings with it and leakage problems.
Back then , it seemed probably one of the most preposterous idea, to develop a project of such large scale. Sceptics claimed it unthinkable. But again , the glorious past of UCE stood as an inspiration of what this younger generation of VSSUT is capable of doing. They are born to fly. And with firm resolve in mind , this dynamic team of 25 members was formed, diverging across almost all trades of engineering from Chemical to Electronics , from Civil to the spine, the Mechanical engineers.
The toughest part of any journey is always the beginning. But no matter how steep the slope was , the members were not petrified to get deeper into “Rocket Science” , and started to engross into a thorough research about designing of rockets. The Team was divided into various groups such as CAD designing, Structural , Aerodynamics,Electronics,Management and Marketing. Most of the fabrication was done at Sambalpur Lathe Machine and developed in the hostel rooms , making it their own workshops , due to unavailability of workspace. Regularly , experiments were conducted with a very small scale model and every error was corrected after detailed discussions. Initially after many failures , finally the VSLV was tested on a local open field , and the dedication , perseverance and hardwork of the team turned into flying colours as they successfully tested the rocket into 2000ft height and were successful in retrieving it again for further launches.
The objective of the satellite is to monitor the agricultural lands , irrigation management , depth analysis of the reservoir , flood water drainage system and real time Lidar mapping.
The complete project is divided into 10 missions , with first mission being successful launch of VSLV into 1km apogee. And subsequently launching of VSLV to 2,4,8 and 10km. After implementation of successful remodelling in the future editions , the team aims to launch the final mission of 40km launch for monitoring of Hirakud Dam and Reservoir monitoring. Hence utility of the the rocket is diverse and multifaceted. It can be put to use for different purposes in different missions.
Advanced communication system with inhouse ground station in place , Analysis of cell phone reception , aerial mapping , Cloud seeding , Analysis of vegetation are few to name. Hence making it the first of its kind in India’s student rocket platforms.
The first edition of the rocket has an altitude of 1km. At the apogee the rocket will deploy a payload and a parachute for its safe descent. The rocket body was made from glass reinforced plastic . The onboard avionics bay consisted of Atmega 328 microprocessor , Neo 7m GPS module , BMP180 altimeter , Relay actuated ejection system , Xbee pro 3km communication system. The bulk of the rocket was made from lathe. The Mild steel motor SAE 310S has a designed thrust of 1.8 KN. The fins were fabricated out of acrylic sheets.
This journey could have had never been possible without the constant support of the Professors , Alumni and students of the university who were always there to watch out for the success of the team. Professor Debadutta Mishra , Dean Student Welfare helped the team immensely for gaining various approvals and academic permissions as a result of which the team is able to takeover the unused space of Canteen-2 near the Sports Ground , which they will be able to use as their workspace. Dr Sanjay Agrawal , vice-president of Idea and Innovation Club has been instrumental in technical suggestions regarding the project. Dr. P. K Kar , Dean F&P and HOD of chemical department is guiding the team in the field of chemical usage for propellent. Various professors from the university have motivated the team with their handful suggestions and blessings. Professor Bandhan Bhoi and Puniyapriya Mishra were always a constant supporter as a mentor for the team. The newly formed Idea and Innovation club incubated this project officially in december of 2016 , and the Canteen 2 is to be inaugurated as IDEA LAB in the recent future , hence providing the team with a much required larger work space to conduct the research and development of the project.
The backbone of the Satellite team’s success lies in the hands of its alumni. The team’s hard work and innovation has gained immense attention and appreciation from university’s alumni , spread across the globe. Dr. Bijan Das , Former Deputy Director , VSSC , ISRO – helped the team in gaining insights about various space technology used and also helped them in connections with various renowned researchers working in the field of space science as well constant inputs have been provided by Dr Radhakant Padhy , professor of IISC Bengaluru .Ensuring that the team does not face hindrance in research and development , they were funded by the batch of 2005 Alumni , which has helped them in getting many equipments for experiments. Mr. Ashesh Padhy , Vice President of Alumni Association has also been a constant source of motivation , by giving them direction. Members from WASBE(Western Alumunus Society Of Burla Engineers) have constantly encouraged the team for indulging into such practical engineering project and wishes them good fortune.
The team is headed up to Delhi where they will be participating in a National level inter college rocket competition and aim for the top rank too , and simultaneously testing of the rocket till 1km apogee will be done.It would also mark the completion of first mission out of 10 missions to be followed.
Team Vission wishes the Student Satellite Team all the excellence and success that they deserve. May their mission and devotion shine brightest at the pinnacle of success.