What is PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM)?
- The ISRO has launched three Singaporean satellites in precise orbit through the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module or ‘POEM’.
What is POEM?
- The POEM is a platform that will help perform in-orbit experiments using the final, and otherwise discarded, stage of ISRO’s workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
- The PSLV is a four-stage rocket where the first three spent stages fall back into the ocean, and the final stage (PS4) — after launching the satellite into orbit — ends up as space junk.
- However, in PSLV-C53 mission, the spent final stage will be utilised as a “stabilised platform” to perform experiments.
- POEM is carrying six payloads, including two from Indian space start-ups Dirgantara and Dhruva Space.
Features of POEM
- POEM has a dedicated Navigation Guidance and Control (NGC) system for attitude stabilization, which stands for controlling the orientation of any aerospace vehicle within permitted limits.
- The NGC will act as the platform’s brain to stabilize it with specified accuracy.
- POEM will derive its power from solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank, and a Li-Ion battery.
- It will navigate using four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyros & NavIC.
- It carries dedicated control thrusters using Helium gas storage. It is enabled with a telecomm and feature.
Has ISRO repurposed and used PS4 rocket junk earlier?
- The Indian space agency first demonstrated the capability of using PSLV-C44 as an orbital platform in 2019.
- It injected Microsat-R and Kalamsat-V2 satellites into their designated orbits.
- The fourth stage in that mission was kept alive as an orbital platform for space-based experiments.
- While in that mission, the fourth stage had Li-Ion batteries, solar panels are an addition this time.
- The latest repurposing and upgrade of the fourth stage of the PSLV rocket involves the stabilization of the orbital platform.