Obtaining the required Infrastructure
As the satellite project gradually gains momentum, you will need infrastructure in your institute to propel it forward. There is no end to the number of facilities that you could have. However, thanks to the budget and space crunch that exists almost everywhere, we'll just list out the bare minimum facilities that should be present in the institute for a satellite project to successfully kick-off.
- Clean Room: Generally a clean room of class 100,000 is suitable for student satellite projects (saying this from Pratham's experience). This can change if your payload demands a separate class of clean room. Within the clean room, the testing of electrical components, handling and storage of ESD devices and the integration of the satellite take place. Strict protocols should be followed while working in the clean room.
- Activity Room: This is the room where all the team meetings and discussions take place. This room also houses the lap PC, on which important simulations are run, inventory of components and documents is maintained and all important files are stored.
- Ground Station (GS): The ground station is the interface between your satellite and yourself. You want your ground station preferably on the rooftop of a tall building such that it has a good view factor and very little interference from the surroundings. A ground station would typically occupy about 30-40 sq. ft. of rooftop area.
- Control Room for the Ground Station: This is typically important when the Ground Station is automated. You would just want to give commands to the Ground Station through your control room and expect it to track the satellite. The data collected by the GS gets logged in the computers of the control room. The control room should not be very far from the Ground Station since the attenuation of the signal increases with increasing length of the connecting wires.
These facilities should be arranged for, in order to successfully kick-start the project. Typically, your university or the institute should make these facilities available. Once you have your team, your mission and payload, and the infrastructure, you are ready to begin!
If you are done reading this page, you can go back to Starting a Student Satellite Project.