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Varsity’s eye in the sky for leak-free exams

tech-reviews Updated: Nov 05, 2007 04:23 IST
Satyen Mohapatra
Satyen Mohapatra
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

ANUSAT is going to help Anna University conduct leak-free examinations in all its 225 affiliated colleges from next year.

The micro satellite’s engineering model that has taken about four years to build is complete. A ground station has been established at the university, which will help track the satellite as well as control it. Its flight model, being built with assistance from ISRO, will be ready by March 2008 and it would be launched by a PSLV launch vehicle of ISRO, said vice-chancellor D. Vishwanathan. It’s the first satellite to be designed and developed by an Indian university and will also be used by the Tamil Nadu government to issue alerts during floods or fire.

“We have 225 colleges affiliated to Anna University; ground stations can be set up at different locations for interconnectivity of these colleges. This (ANUSAT) will also ensure that examinations will be conducted properly,” said Vishwanathan, in an exclusive interview to the Hindustan Times.

“Questions papers and information from one centre can be passed on to others under a highly secure line, thus checking leak of examination papers. Within half an hour or an hour of the beginning of the examination, papers can be sent to all centres. Earlier, this work had to be done manually over long distances.”

Vishwanathan said the engineering model would now head to Bangalore where it will be tested at the Indian Satellite Application Centre. Once that is over, the flight model will be constructed. The cost of the entire project is Rs 5.44 crore, he added.

Shaped like a cuboid, the length of each side will be 600mm and it will weigh around 38 kg. It will take a sun-synchronous near-circular orbit at an altitude of 630 km. ANUSAT consists of an aluminum honeycomb panel and carbon fibre reinforced plastic solar panels to draw on solar energy. Solar cells mounted on it would generate 33W of average power. A 16cell lith-ion battery would provide power during the orbital eclipse phases.