“Raavana-1” 1st Sri Lankan Satellite to the Space

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“Raavana-1” 1st Sri Lankan Satellite to the Space

“Raavana 1”, Sri Lanka’s first satellite, a cube satellite designed and developed by a team of Sri Lankan engineers was successfully carried to International Space Station from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia on February 18, 2019. “Raavana 1” will be deployed to 400km orbit in mid June 2019, and will be in operation from July 2019 onwards after establishing communication links with the ground station at Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT). This was part of a landmark project of the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies, functions under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research. ACCIMT is a key public sector technology institute in Sri Lanka working in this unique field of Space Technology (or Space Engineering).

The key objectives of this project are to elevate Sri Lanka in to the group of countries having designed and operated a satellite, showcase our research, design and development capabilities and most importantly enhancing local human capital pool with expertise and relevant exposure in advance technology areas with global demand.

Development of “Raavana 1” is a part of the ”Birds” project carry out by the Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech), one of a leading National Universities in Japan. Main aim of “Birds” satellite development project is to assist none space faring developing countries to acquire space technology capabilities.

Sri Lanka represented by the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies and participated two of its research engineers Tharindu Dayaratne and Dulani Chamika for this programme in year 2017. At Kyutech Japan our two engineers teaming up with other engineers from Nepal and Japan developed three cube satellites for the three nations (one would be the first satellite of Nepal).

The missions (including payloads) to be undertaken by “Raavana-1” are as follows

  • Camera for the media and social outreach activities
  •  Attitude Determination and Control System for active stabilization of the satellite in the orbit
  • LoRa demonstration validate module (for future Nano satellite long range communication methods, this has to be tested)
  • Most Nano satellites use a hardware back plane for the satellite sub system interconnections which is having no flexibility. Raavana 1 consists of software backplane based on Complex Programmable Logic Devices having full flexibility.
  • Study of the orbit magnetics (orbit of the ISS, 400km) using a magnetometer for verification purposes.