Chennai-based startup to supply satellite components to UAE's space agency

Chennai-based startup to supply satellite components to UAE's space agency

The city-based company bagged the order from the space agency in 2020 to supply parts that go into the manufacturing of the satellite.

PTIUpdated: Monday, December 26, 2022, 10:01 PM IST
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Aerospace and defence parts start-up ST Advanced Composites which supplied the necessary structural components for the manufacture of satellites for a UAE-based space agency aims to tap the market potential in this sector, a top official has said.

The city-based company bagged the order from the space agency in 2020 to supply parts that go into the manufacturing of the satellite to study the soil and carry out water analysis on the Moon, director Devendran Thirunavukarasu said.

"The UAE-based space agency offered us one contract in December 2020 and it was completed successfully in four-five months. After that there was a regular meeting and they gave the second order also which is manufacturing satellites. We commenced working in April 2022 and it was successfully launched on December 11 through the SpaceX launch," he told PTI in an interaction.

Scientists have commenced communication with the system as the target has been achieved. "They will be able to do soil tests and water analysis there (on the Moon)," he said.

Elaborating, he said the company supplied structural components in the making of payload, satellite casing of the rocket.

"The purpose is that it should be light weight as weight plays a major role in the space sector. if you take metals, the density will be higher but with carbon fibre we can reduce it by up to 60 per cent," he said.

Thirunavukarasu, hailing from a farmers' family is an aeronautical engineer who later pursued his post-graduation in France, said, "I got an opportunity to work in Rome for aircraft manufacturing. After that I shifted back to Chennai and started the company in 2014." The company, he said, uses carbon fibre as the basic raw material to manufacture the products allowing them to substantially reduce the weight of satellites which constitute the majority of the payload weight on a rocket.

"When we supplied our parts to the UAE-based space agency they liked it. What we delivered to them was very light in weight...We are basically a light-weight manufacturer and solution provider for aerospace and defence," he added.

The majority of the technology used is 'carbon-fibre technology', he said.

To a query, he said the company was engaged with various government projects with Muscat, Oman, the United Kingdom and Israel.

"Our target is to do more exports under the Centre's Make in India campaign and become a pioneer in the aerospace and defence sector," he said.

On the outlook, he said the company was currently engaged in discussions to set up its manufacturing facility at Vallam Vadagal in neighbouring Sriperumbudur district.

"We have identified one acre land from TIDCO (Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd) and currently discussions are on. We expect to shift there at the Chennai Aerospace Park by January or February," he said.

Responding to a query, he said the company was started with a capital of less than Rs 1 lakh in 2014 and was currently in discussion with various government agencies in the country to supply parts.

"Right now we cannot reveal details of the project. We are already serving the Indian Space Research Organisation and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)," he said.

The company after setting up a base in Chennai has plans to set up offices in Bengaluru and also in New Delhi.

"Right now we are about 20 people. We are planning to add another 20 people, when we set up the manufacturing facility at Vallam Vadagal," he said.

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