Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: ISRO’s ‘POEM’ Platform)

Why in news?

  • Besides placing three Singaporean satellites in precise orbit by PSLV-C53 mission, ISRO also achieved the feat of successfully launching the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module or ‘POEM’.
  • The four-stage, 44.4 metre tall PSLV-C53 that blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

About ISRO:

  • To spearhead the space research activities, Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was set up in 1962 under the Department of Atomic Energy. Subsequently, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was established in August 1969, in place of INCOSPAR. The Government of India constituted the Space Commission and established Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972 and brought ISRO under DOS in September 1972.

About the Mission:

  • 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. This is the 55th mission of PSLV and 15th mission using PSLVCore Alone variant.
  • DS-EO is a 365 kg satellite while NeuSAR weighs 155 kg. Both belong to Singapore and are built by Starec Initiative of the Republic of Korea, while the third satellite is a 2.8 kg SCOOB-1 of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

PSLV Orbital Experimental Module:

  • The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) activity is performer in-orbit scientific experiments using the spent PS4 stage as an orbital platform. It is first time that PS4 stage would orbit the earth as a stabilized platform.

How POEM is ‘alive and stable’ in orbit?

  • Altitude stabilization is achieved using a dedicated NGC system. The NGC will act as the platform’s brain to stabilize it with specified accuracy.
  • POEM derives the power from the solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank and a Li-Ion battery. It navigates using four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyros & NavIC. It carries dedicated control thrusters using Helium gas storage. It is enabled with telecommand feature.POEM carries six payloads including two from Indian Space Start-ups M/s Digantara and M/s Dhruva Space, enabled though IN-SPACe and NSIL.
  • PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) DS-EO carries an Electro-Optic, multi-spectral payload that will  provide full colour images for land classification, and serving Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief needs.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle:

  • The PSLV is an expendable medium-lift launch vehicle designed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was developed to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites into sun-synchronous orbits, a service that was, until the advent of the PSLV in 1993. PSLV can also launch small size satellites into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • As of February 2021, PSLV has launched 342 foreign satellites from 36 countries. Most notable among these was the launch of PSLV-C37 on 15 February 2017, successfully deploying 104 satellites in sun-synchronous orbit, tripling the previous record held by Russia. These was highest number of satellites send record to space on a single launch, until 24 January 2021, when SpaceX launched the Transporter-1 mission on a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 143 satellites into orbit.
  • Some notable payloads launched by PSLV include India’s first lunar probe Chandrayaan-1, India’s first interplanetary mission Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) and India’s first space observatory, Astrosat.