A glorious achievement by ISRO, as they launched PSLV C53 carrying three Singaporean satellites into their orbits, along with this the launch vehicle carried Lovely Professional University based Alumni Space tech start up, Digantara’s Digital Space Weather Instrument, which is the smallest in the world. Headed by LPU alumnus and CEO of Digantara, Anirudh Sharma and Co-founder and COO, Rahul Rawat and 10 other members, they have built a one stop solution for space operations, launching the World’s first commercial space-based weather system, ROBI (ROBust Integrating proton fluence meter), on the most prestigious Indian Space Research Organizations’ PSLV – C53 Mission. Earlier this month, Digantara also interacted with Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where Anirudh Sharma explained their vision to the PM. Post this interaction, Digantara also made it to the Mann ki baat speech wherein Honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi mentioned about this space tech startup.
This is India’s one of the first commercial payloads that will utilize PSLV’s PS-4 orbital platform. Digantara’s patented, digital space weather instrument has an extremely small footprint with power consumption of less than 20mW. The simplicity of integration makes it ideal for placing in any satellite that goes to space, irrespective of size, shape or application. This will enable Digantara to increase the amount of empirical space weather data that will be available in quasi-real time.
Congratulating Team Digantara for this phenomenal and groundbreaking achievement, Dr. Ashok Kumar Mittal, Chancellor, Lovely Professional University said, “It gives us immense pleasure when our students are able to scale new heights. Would like to congratulate Anirudh Sharma and team for this achievement”. At LPU we focus on practical learning. Recently, we made significant investments in space research with an installation of a state-of-the-art satellite ground station. Our researchers are devotedly working day and night towards the launch of LPU’s satellite.
Space weather is a complex phenomenon that arises from high energy particles, plasma, and electromagnetic waves originating from the sun or the cosmos interacting with the earth’s magnetic field. A major space weather event can have significant repercussions on both space and terrestrial systems. Such an event can disrupt power grids, impact airline travel and disrupt High Frequency communication systems, Position, Navigation and Timing (GPS) systems leading to interruptions in communication and navigation capabilities here on Earth. According to estimates, a significant space weather event can result in damages of up to $3.4 trillion. A comparable event recently cost SpaceX40 of its satellites. Furthermore, European Space Agency (ESA) Swarm constellation operators observed a sixfold increase in sink rate of its satellites owing to Solar Drag with the beginning of Solar Cycle 25, it is imperative that we have the capability to anticipate and monitor such an event
“We are very excited and ecstatic as the PSLV C53 launch has happened successfully. We express our gratitude towards the Government of India and ISRO that have given us, a young space tech startup a once in a lifetime opportunity to prove our talent. We are confident that our instrument, will perform as per the expectation and hope that in the coming space missions we will again make a mark with our space related innovations” says Anirudh Sharma, CEO of Digantara and an alumni student of LPU.
In the year 2021, Kalaari Capital backed Digantara with a seed funding of USD 2.5 Million. Using the amount, the startup aggressively strengthened its capabilities for furnishing a technology demonstration of its hardware infrastructure by sending an asset to space in less than a year.