Chennai

Children of resettlement colony in Chennai learn how to make Femto satellites

Students at a workshop in Kannagi Nagar   | Photo Credit: Karunakaran M

K. Hariharan, a class 10 student from the Kannagi Nagar resettlement colony, had an unique experience on Tuesday. He learned how to make Femto Satellites, which are small satellites of very low mass.

Twenty other children like him from Kannagi Nagar took part in the free workshop held at the Abdul Kalam People Welfare Association’s premises in the locality. “I study at the Government Higher Secondary School in Kannagi Nagar. I have dreamt of making a satellite that can help farmers. I was elated when I learnt how to make a small satellite that can help provide live data for studies on agriculture, ultraviolet radiation, wind speed, global warming and ozone depletion,” he said.

The programme was jointly organised by the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam International Foundation, House of Kalam, Rameswaram along with Space Zone India, Chennai and the Martin Group.

The mission is to guide 1,000 students from classes 9 to 12 across the country, to work on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and enable them to use their knowledge and skills for the design and development of 100 Femto Satellites. The satellites are to be launched through a single high-altitude scientific balloon on February 7, 2021 at Rameswaram at an event called Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Space Research Payload Cubes Challenge 2021.

S. Charulatha, a class 11 student of Government Higher Secondary School, Okkiyam Thoraipakkam, said that she has always wanted to become an astronaut. “But the cost involved has always been a demotivating factor. Though I have learnt about satellites theoretically, this is the first time I got hands on experience. In fact, I learnt how to solder and give connections to the Femto satellites,” she said.

D. Gokul, scientist, ISRO and advisor, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam International Foundation, said that he has been guiding children in Kannagi Nagar to help improve their education. “We have to take this knowledge to rural areas and to students from economically weaker sections. This will create more scientists for ISRO and they will create more like them. A. Sivathanu Pillai, father of Brahmos, and other eminent scientists are guiding the children for the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Space Research Payload Cubes Challenge 2021,” he said.

Anand Megalingam, founder of Space Zone India, who taught the children to make the satellites free of cost, said that he was impressed by the interest shown by children. “We are planning to hold more such programmes in the Perumbakkam resettlement colony,” he said.

E. Marisamy, founder, Abdul Kalam People Welfare Association in Kannagi Nagar, said that such programmes will help create more scientists.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 5:15:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/children-of-resettlement-colony-in-chennai-learn-how-to-make-femto-satellites/article33683330.ece

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