News Isro tests Payload based on Origami, the Japanese paper-folding art

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SOURCE: Business Standard

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has tested the Indigenously Developed Metal-based Origami Payload in Indian Nano Satellite-1C (INS-1C).INS-1C is an experimental satellite launched by PSLV-C40 on January 12, 2018 as a co-passenger payload. It is the third vehicle in the Indian Nano Satellite (INS) series.

The first two satellites, INS-1A and INS-1B, of this series were carried as co-passenger payloads by PSLV-C37 in February 2017. INS-1C carries Miniature Multi-spectral Technology Demonstration (MMX-TD) Payload from the Space Applications Centre (SAC), Isro Ahmedabad.

Compact imaging systems with reduced weight and size offer tremendous opportunities for their use in space-borne micro/nano satellites and planetary missions where size and weight are at a premium. Although miniature cameras such as those found in cell-phones are now available commonly, their resolution and light collection are poor compared with their full size counterparts. The Robust Technology Development Programme of SAC/Isro has developed an innovative satellite payload using the concept of Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper.

The Isro Nano Satellite (INS-1C) payload team has used the concept of multi-fold reflective optics to design imagers of significantly reduced thickness compared with conventional refractive cameras. This multi-fold optical configuration is known as Origami optics.

Reflective optics is based on the use of metal mirrors, instead of the usual glass-based Origami lens.

This makes the camera potentially much more versatile in terms of spectral coverage. The mirrors and the optical assembly were developed indigenously. The optics is fabricated using single-point diamond turning machine with a fast-tool servo.

Utilising the capability of the optics, a compact MMX-TD payload was configured for the INS-1C nanosatellite. The camera provides RGB snaps of 29 km x 29 km area with 23 m ground sampling from polar sun-synchronous orbit of 505 km altitude.

The first payload operation was carried out successfully on January 16, 2018 and the payload is providing excellent images since. Data sent by this camera is useful for topographical mapping, vegetation monitoring, aerosol scattering studies and cloud studies, said Isro.
 
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