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India unveils space design lab for start-ups

NEW DELHI (PTI): India has unveiled a state-of-the-art design lab in Ahmedabad to enable space sector start-ups to transform their innovative ideas into implementable models at a faster pace.

The Space Systems Design Lab of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) was inaugurated by ISRO Chairman S Somanath at Bopal in Ahmedabad earlier this week.

The IN-SPACe design lab consists of high-end analysis and simulation software for mission simulation, modelling, visualising, optimising payload and spacecraft, ground station, and launch vehicle avionics, IN-SPACe Chairman Pawan Goenka said.

He said the lab resources will help build prototypes with the least iterations, thus significantly reducing the turnaround time and research and development costs for start-ups.

Somanath said such facilities will enable non-government entities (NGEs) to play a vital role in developing state-of-the-art space technologies.

"The goal of NGE participation in space activities is aimed at enhancing the scale of the space economy from the present two per cent to 10 per cent of the global economy. ISRO is committed to work with NGEs towards this," the ISRO chairman said.

The lab has the computing resources comprising 16 workstations and high-performance computing multi-core (up-to 400 cores) servers, a statement from IN-SPACe said.

It said the software resources include System Tool Kit, Advance Design Systems, Pathwave system design, high frequency structure simulation, 3D CAD Mach 3, Simcenter 3D space System (Thermal and cooling), Finite Element analysis structure (FEAST) and OpticStudio (Zemax) which can contribute in mission planning to RF, Structural and thermal design and analysis of space systems.

"The lab will enable space start-ups to transform their innovative ideas into on-board implementable modules," according to a statement.

IN-SPACe will conduct periodic training and workshops at the space systems design lab to impart practical hands-on training to NGEs to use these software packages.

"Through this design lab, the start-ups would be able to verify and visualise their designs before metal cutting as well as validate the test results of the fabricated product with minimum turnaround time," IN-SPACe said.

Earlier, IN-SPACe had announced a Rs 1 crore seed fund scheme for early-stage space start-ups.

Eligible applicants include early-stage start-ups that use space technology to address upstream or midstream and downstream challenges in the sector.

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