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21 April 2023: PSLV-C55 mission: ISRO to carry out in-orbit scientific experiments using spent PS4

What’s in the news?

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which plans to launch the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C55 (PSLV-C55) mission on April 22 with Singapore’s TeLEOS-2 as the primary satellite and Lumelite-4 as a co-passenger satellite, will conduct in-orbit scientific experiments using the spent PS4 (PSLV’s fourth and final stage) as an orbital platform.

PSLV-C55 mission

  • The PSLV-C55 mission is a dedicated commercial mission operated by NSIL. TeLEOS-2 and Lumelite-4 satellites will be launched into an eastward low inclination orbit.
  • According to ISRO, the PSLV-C55 mission will conduct scientific experiments in orbit by using the expended PS4 stage as an orbital platform. After satellite separations, the PS4 will be employed as a platform for experiments for the third time. 
  • The PSLV-C55 mission includes the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM), which uses the launch vehicle’s leftover PS4 as an orbital platform to conduct scientific experiments using non-separating payload.

PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM)

  • POEM (PSLV Orbital Experimental Module) is an ISRO experimental mission that conducts in-orbit scientific experiments as an orbital platform during the fourth stage of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launch vehicle.
  • POEM has seven experimental non-separable payloads, according to the space agency.
    • PiLOT (PSLV In orbitaL Obc and Thermals), an OBC package developed by the Indian Institute of Space and Technology (IIST).
    • ARIS-2 (Advanced Retarding Potential Analyzer for Ionospheric Studies) experiment from IIST. 
    • HET-based ARKA200 Electric Propulsion System from Bellatrix. 
    • DSOD-3U and DSOD-6U deployer units, as well as Dhruva Space. 
    • Starberry Sense Payload from Indian Institute of Astrophysics.

TeLEOS-2 and Lumelite-4 satellites

  • TeLEOS-2 satellite
    • According to ISRO, the TeLEOS-2 satellite is developed in collaboration with DSTA (representing the Singapore government) and ST Engineering. 
    • Once installed and operational, it will be utilised to serve the satellite imaging needs of various agencies within the Singapore government. 
    • TeLEOS-2 is equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload. TeLEOS-2 will be capable of imaging at 1m full-polarimetric resolution and will offer all-weather day and night coverage.
  • Lumelite-4 satellite
    • The Lumelite-4 satellite was co-developed by A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and the National University of Singapore’s Satellite Technology and Research Centre (STAR). 
    • Lumelite-4 is a sophisticated 12U satellite designed to demonstrate the high-performance space-borne VHF Data Exchange System (VDES). 
    • Lumelite-4 intends to improve Singapore’s e-navigation marine safety and assist the worldwide shipping community by utilising I2R’s VDES communication payload and STAR’s scalable satellite bus infrastructure.
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