“The mission will serve as a Space weather testbed in SSO (Sun-Synchronous Orbit) for enhancing precision driven SSA applications and augment the data from ROBI, our previously launched space-based space weather monitor,” the firm said.
The startup is currently incubated by the Society for Innovation and Development (SID) at IISc and the mission is partially funded by the IISc’s Centre of Excellence.
“The mission has a threefold objective: To extend radiation measurements to SSO (Sun-Synchronous Orbit), to assess mid to high energy particle radiation from the South Atlantic Anomaly and to investigate any correlation of atmospheric drag and particle environment for enhanced orbit and debris modeling,” a statement read.
This mission is named after Pushan, the Hindu solar deity who protected travelers from harm during their journeys, it added.
“With the growing number of satellites, space sustainability has been brought into serious question. Since the beginnings of space travel there has been a dearth of data associated with SSA, and we are looking to help supplement this paucity with our indigenously built technology and infrastructure. Pushan-alpha’s launch is another step in this direction ” Anirudh Sharma, CEO, Digantara, said.
With one mission already in orbit, Digantara will be deploying two more missions for SSA in 2023. The firm had also recently signed an agreement with the government of Uttarakhand to establish India’s first commercial space situational observatory, as reported by TOI earlier.
With the establishment of the observatory which is expected to be functional by the second quarter of 2023, Digantara will be able to supplement its space-based sensors in their mission to monitor satellites and debris in various orbits and bring indigenous capabilities to the nation for both military and civilian applications.