The COEP Satellite (Swayam) project is aimed at developing a reliable bidirectional communications platform. Started in late 2008, the Swayam project revolves around the challenge of building a 1U pico-satellite destined to orbit the Earth at a height of 500-800 km. The scientific objective of the mission is to demonstrate the concept of passive stabilization using magnets and hysteresis which is the first of its kind in India. The utility of the satellite is to provide point to point messaging service from one ground station to another in the HAM band frequency.
The text messaging services are provided under the custom made COEPSAT protocol. These are open to all and various HAM users across the globe can use these for communicating amongst themselves. The total capacity of message handling is 18 lakhs which is quite large to cater to the messaging services to various Ground Stations. The satellite also transmits the received signal strength and the error corrected information in the downlink which the Ground Stations can use to characterize their setup for digital communication. On successful technological demonstration of Passive Control System in Swayam, this project will serve as a perfect platform for future satellite missions with different innovative payloads.
In the college premises, on the roof of the Department of Metallurgy and Material Sciences, the team has established a class 10000 clean room, which houses all the facilities to test and integrate the satellite. The premises are as per ISRO Specifications. The team also has a functional Ground Station, with antennae for 435MHz band and 144MHz band communication and the associated Radio interface. The team has established a communication link with more than 30 different satellites, including the International Space Station. Globally, the frequency 437.025 MHz has been coordinated for Swayam. The team has published 10 highly acclaimed papers so far.
After numerous visits to ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, the team has fabricated, assembled and tested the Qualification Model (Proto-Flight Model) of Swayam, which has all the flight specific hardware. Most of the systems were designed, fabricated and assembled in-house. The software and hardware validation and stress testing is complete with the spacecraft being tested for end to end performance. The compatibility of Swayam Satellite with the ISRO Nano Satellite Launch System was checked and the satellite was subjected to the launch loads as per ISRO specifications. The Qual Model has also been subjected to environmental extremes to establish its survivability in Space Conditions. All systems are flight ready. The team has recently cleared the Critical Design Review (CDR) at ISAC, Bangalore and obtained a green signal for fabrication and launch of Flight Model of Swayam.
More information about the project at http://www.coep.org.in/csat/