By Sheain Fernandopulle
Sri Lanka’s first research satellite RAAVANA-1 built by two Sri Lankan youths is set to be launched into space this April, marking our entrance into the space age, an official of the Arthur C. Clarke Institute said.
RAAVANA-1 which is a cube-seized miniature satellite was built by Tharindu Dayaratne an Electrical and Electronics engineer of the University of Peradeniya and a Research engineer at the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies together with Dulani Chamika, a Mechatronics engineer from the same institute.
The satellite which was designed and built at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan is 1000 cubic centimeters in size and weighs 1.1 kg.
This is an indigenous space programme led by the Kyushu Institute of Technology.
The RAAVANA-1 was officially handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on February 18, 2019 and will be sent to the International Space Station on April 17, this year through the assistance of Cygnus-1 spacecraft from the United States.
The satellite is expected to fulfil five missions including the capturing of pictures of Sri Lanka and surrounding regions, active altitude stabilization which ensures that satellite’s altitude is stable under the influence of external talks. The RAAVANA-1 is expected to orbit 400 kilometers away from the earth. It will have a minimum lifespan of one and half years but was expected to be active for up to five years.