Pointing out that technology development in the domain of space science and technology needs to be demonstrated in the space environment for further development, IN-SPACe said POEM uses the “spent PS4 stage” (fourth stage of PSLV) to offer an effective platform for carrying out such space qualification of payloads and to carry out in-orbit scientific experiments.
Why this is convenient
While a common methodology adopted for such validation and experiments is to integrate payloads into a satellite which carries them to space, for several organisations looking to qualify payloads in the space environment, development of an entire satellite is resource intensive and may not be cost effective.
POEM on the other hand, utilises the terminal stage (PS4) of the rocket as a platform on which the scientific experiments can be mounted and tested after separation of all satellites.
“The experimental payloads can utilise the standard interfaces of POEM, without being concerned about requirements like power, navigation, attitude (orientation) control, data management & specific requirements including telecommand (which would be needed if they have to test it as part of a satellite),” IN-SPACe said.
Elaborating further, the nodal agency said POEM has standard interfaces and packages for power generation, telemetry, tele-command, stabilisation, orbit keeping and orbit manoeuvring and therefore, can be used to design, develop and validate experimental payloads.
“IN-SPACe in collaboration with Isro, has announced the opportunity to host payload on the upcoming POEM missions tentatively scheduled during November, 2023 and June, 2024. The last Date to apply is August 25, 2023,” IN-SPACe added.
Experiments & who can apply
According to IN-SPACe, payload avenues that can be explored are: Satellite bus technology development and space qualification of sub-systems; Microgravity experiments; robotics technology demonstration; payload systems technology demonstration and space qualification of sub-systems.
“Any Indian entity, government or non-government, such as academic or research institution, industries looking to configure their payload on POEM can apply. Applicants are preferred to be currently involved in space-based research or validation of specific experiments in microgravity conditions and development of payloads for space-based applications, or any competent team willing to develop space worthy experiments and have access to associated facilities for payload testing,” IN-SPACe said.