Chandrayaan-2: How industry pitched in with sensors, materials...

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on July 23, 2019

A ‘Star Sensor’ that determines the orientation of a spacecraft with respect to stars is one of the important contributions from the scores of private and public sector units that have played a key role in the Chandrayaan-2 Moon mission.

The ‘Star Sensor’ has been developed by Hyderabad-based Ananth Technologies Ltd (ATL), which has for long been associated with the satellite missions of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Chandrayaan-2 mission comprises the GSLV-MkIII launcher, the Orbiter and the Lander.

Similarly, public sector Midhani has supplied special ultra high strength steel and titanium alloys for the mission. It has specially fabricated critical materials that go into the making of the cryogenic engine, rocket motor casing, and the GSLV-MkIII launcher.

In addition to the ‘Star Sensor’, avionics and electronics systems built and delivered by ATL are being used in all the three mission elements of Chandrayaan-2, says Pavaluri Subba Rao, Chairman and Managing Director of the company.

About 300 technicians and engineers working on space systems at ATL’s assembly and test facilities in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram, which are certified by ISRO, he added.

Another well-established ISRO partner, Midhani has been an important player, especially in import substitution of materials, which make the missions cost-effective. Several tonnes of material go into the making of GSLV-MkIII

Midhani is also gearing up to meet the requirements of ISRO’s ambitious Gaganyaan — Man in Space — programme.

Another important facility that is actively involved with the Chandrayaan-2 is the National Remote Sensing Centre, which has a tracking and image processing facilities. The NRSC was also part of the several simulations with the lunar Lander.

Published on July 23, 2019

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