Recently, a new low cost star sensor launched by ISRO on board PSLV C-55 was launched by astronomers. The sensors installed on the PSLV Orbital Test Module (POEM) performed well in their maiden space test, and preliminary data have now confirmed their design and functionality.
The StarBerrySense payload, developed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an autonomous agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), was launched on April 22. This low-cost sensor, designed to quickly calculate the position of a satellite, is being tested in space for the first time.
Astronomers at the agency’s Space Payloads Group recently reported that StarBerrySense is performing as expected despite the harsh conditions in space, with preliminary data showing that it can calculate the direction it’s pointing.
For any space mission, it is important to know where the satellite is pointing at any given time. While there are several ways to do this, star sensors provide the most accurate information about the spacecraft’s direction. The launch probe, developed by the Space Payloads Group at the IIA, is able to determine its trajectory in space by identifying stars in its field.
“This load-carrying minicomputer is built around a RaspberryPi, and the electronics and software are developed in-house,” said the project’s technical lead and Ph.D. Bharat Chandra. student at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. “The advantage of this payload is that it is cost-effective, easy to install and can be installed on a variety of satellites,” he said.
StarBerrySense installed on ISRO’s PSLV Orbital Experiment
“StarBerrySense has been installed on ISRO’s PSLV Orbital Experiment Module (POEM), which provides a stable platform for our payload. POEM ISLO’s unique initiative is using the PSLV 4 stage as an orbital platform to conduct scientific experiments.
This is a great opportunity to conduct short-term scientific experiments in space,” said Reksh Mohan, principal investigator of the StarBerrySense project.
The main goal was to evaluate survivability and performance in space. “The flight qualification test was conducted at the MGK Menon Space Science Laboratory at the CREST campus of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Hosakote.
The sky imaging experiment was conducted at our Vainu Bappu observatory,” said Binukumar, former IIA visiting scientist and member of the StarBerrySense team. “In the days following launch, we have confirmed that StarBerrySense is working as expected in space,” said Shubham Gatul. , Ph.D., student on the team.
StarBerrySense’s primary function is to map the field, correctly identify visible stars, and calculate the direction they are pointing. Shubhangi Jain, Ph.D. “Preliminary data analysis confirmed that the imaging hardware was working as expected and that the onboard software was able to calculate orientation,” the team’s students said.
“We used images taken from cargo carriers and compared them with data from international databases to check their accuracy,” said Mahesh Babu, an electronics engineer with the team.
“Working with the PSLV team has been a great experience for the entire team. The guidance and support from IN-SPACe has also been invaluable in this successful work.
Written by: Vaishali verma