Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023
WESAT: All-Woman Team Designed Satellite Nearing Launch

WESAT (Women Engineered Satellite), developed by an all-woman team at LBS Institute of Technology for Women in Thiruvananthapuram, is making progress towards its space journey. This satellite, designed to measure ultraviolet (UV) radiation in space and on the earth’s surface, is expected to be launched through the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) platform in November. The project has received guidance from the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO’s lead centre.

The idea for WESAT was initiated by the institution three years ago, and it has now entered the fabrication stage. The satellite aims to gain insights into the impact of UV radiation on phenomena such as heatwaves and climate changes in Kerala. To support this objective, a ground station has been established at the institution.

IN-SPACe, under the Department of Space, is responsible for promoting and supervising space activities by non-governmental entities. The satellite was chosen to address the lack of UV radiation monitoring facilities in the state, and it is planned to be placed in a 600-km orbit. Before its launch, WESAT will need to fulfill various parameters and undergo rigorous testing by ISRO.

The Space Club, which comprises a team of 30 students from various engineering disciplines, has invested nearly Rs 10 lakh in designing and building the satellite. The fabrication process will incur an additional cost. The institution is hopeful of receiving sponsorship or funding from the government or other agencies to support this initiative.

It is worth mentioning that last year, ISRO successfully launched AzaadiSAT, a satellite built by 750 girl students from across the country. AzaadiSAT was carried on the maiden flight of ISRO’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).