Bengaluru: Schoolchildren to launch, land mini-satellites

The technical guidance, hand-holding and provision of 3D-printed satellite bodies would be arranged by NDRF and Space Kidz India.

Bengaluru: High school students are set to experience the thrill of launching and landing of small satellites designed by them as part of a nation-wide competition announced by the National Design and Research Forum (NDRF) and Space Kidz India, Chennai, during the birth centenary of late Dr Vikram Sarabhai.

These satellites would be launched in Helium balloons, designed to climb to near-space altitude and return to land with laptops serving as control centres on January 19, 2020, near Chennai, Dr Mylswamy Annadurai, Chairman, NDRF, told the media on Friday.

The technical guidance, hand-holding and provision of 3D-printed satellite bodies would be arranged by NDRF and Space Kidz India, he added. Dr Srimathy Kesan, CEO, Space Kidz India, said entries for the competition would be reviewed and selected by zonal selection committees, and finalists from each zone would be mentored to build their satellites ahead of the launch in January 2020.

Dr Annadurai said to mark India's 75th Independence day celebrations, NDRF, in association with Indian Technology Congress Association, Space Kids India and ‘Engineers Without Borders’ would enable student teams from schools and colleges to build and launch 75 satellites by August 15, 2022.

On Friday, NDRF teamed up with Wipro 3D to work together in design for additive manufacturing of aerospace systems and developing related industry standards.

According to a MoU signed on Friday, NDRF and Wipro 3D would also offer competency building and advisory programmes relating to additive manufacturing. The MoU was signed by Dr M. Annadurai and Wipro 3D's Vice-President & Business Head, Ajay Parikh.

“NDRF and Wipro 3D are joining together to create industry standards and generate design for additive manufacturing pedigree for aerospace systems,” Dr Annadurai added.

He said 3D printing/additive manufacturing is a technology which is going to “revolutionise the future world”, requiring industry standards and pioneering attempts in terms of design.

NDRF, an autonomous forum of the Institution of Engineers (India), promotes research, design, development, productionisation and innovation through collaborative efforts since 1969. The Forum announced a flew of new initiatives to mark 50th year of formation during 2019-20, including a national conference on ‘Bird strike in Aviation’, hackathon in water management for engineering students, a national seminar on Bio-engineering, and the golden jubilee finale.

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