BITS Pilani Dubai Campus launches ground station for space research


BPDC Director Dr Srinivasan Madapusi said: “The launch and operational readiness of our ground station represents a significant step forward in our pursuit of excellence in space technology. “This milestone underscores our dedication to providing students with cutting-edge resources and hands-on experience in satellite communications.”

Among its features is the ground station’s ability to autonomously track satellite passes using digitally controlled rotors, enabling precise monitoring and the collection of data crucial for educational and research efforts. Additionally, an omnidirectional antenna enhances the station’s usefulness in weather research by facilitating the reception of weather data from satellites such as NOAA.

The BPDC ground station plays a pivotal role in the ambitious MAHASAT project, mentored by Padma Shri awardee Mylswamy Annadurai, the visionary behind India’s successful missions to the Moon and Mars. In collaboration with the UAE’s leading online space education centre, Edutech4Space, this project aims to “propel BPDC to the forefront of space exploration and education”.

MAHASAT, conceived as a multi-phase effort, seeks to “revolutionize” space technology through incremental advances. Starting with the development and testing of a picosatellite using drones, the project progressed to the establishment of a ground station on the BPDC campus. This strategic path will culminate with the construction and launch of an engineering model of the CubeSat, leveraging data collected and analyzed in the field.

Shrisudha Viswanathan, Founder and CEO of EduTech4Space, said: “The establishment of this ground station marks a pivotal moment for our organization and the UAE student community. “It not only provides practical training in satellite communications but also opens the doors to a multitude of research opportunities in space technology.”

Annadurai said, “The installation of the ground station at BPDC not only facilitates practical research projects but also offers interdisciplinary learning opportunities in areas such as meteorology and satellite communications. “It underlines BPDC’s commitment to training the next generation of space scientists and engineers.”


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