'Tribute to amateur radio community': ISRO to launch Hyderabad-based Dhruva Space's 'Thybolt-1, 2'

If things go as planned, Dhruva Space will be the first company to place the first Indian private satellites in the orbit.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  26 Nov 2022 6:58 AM GMT
Tribute to amateur radio community: ISRO to launch Hyderabad-based Dhruva Spaces Thybolt-1, 2

Indian Space Research Organizations (ISRO) will launch Hyderabad-based Dhruva Space's `Thybolt-1 and 2' satellites through its PSLV C 54 vehicle on Saturday.

Dhruva Space has dedicated Thybolt mission to the amateur radio community.

"I have been building satellites since I was 19 and I have been an amateur radio operator for more than 10 years. it's integral in understanding how satellite communications work," said Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO of Dhruva Space.

It is not a commercial mission because of the amateur radio communications aspect. "We hope this mission fuels more growth and dialogue about satellites, amateur radio, and the thriving private Space sector in India," Nekkanti said.

If things go as planned, Dhruva Space will be the first company to place the first Indian private satellites in the orbit.

The name of the mission also holds importance to Dhruva Space. "It is an homage to the company, `Thybolt', which merged with Dhruva Space. Thybolt is 'Your Thunder'. For us, this phrase signifies our endurance for the last decade as we strived to be a Space company when the ecosystem was not ready for one," said Chaitanya Dora Surapureddy, CFO of Dhruva Space.

ISRO's PSLV-C54 will also carry Pixxel's Anand hyperspectral imaging satellite in addition to Dhruva's Thybolt 1 and 2.

Thybolt satellites are all engineered to be compatible with the Space-qualified Dhruva Space Satellite Orbital Deployer that was launched and tested onboard ISRO's PSLV C53. The deployers are further engineered to be compatible with launch vehicles of ISRO and most international bodies.

"The satellites developed at Dhruva Space's 10,000-square-foot facility in Hyderabad are also compatible with Integrated Space Operations Command Suite (ISOCS) – our online software enabling operating ground stations from anywhere in the world to track, command, transfer and visualize satellite data – thus rounding off our full-stack offerings," said Krishna Teja Penamakuru, COO

What's in store for the company's future after the Thybolt Mission?

"Depending on the mission outcome, we look forward to establishing a manufacturing unit in Hyderabad of our products: satellite platforms, deployers, ground station infrastructure, and more," Chaitanya said.

"As we await the Space Act, we should see a tremendous increase in the demand for satellites in the coming years, fuelling growth for satellite-enabled services. Satellites already play a vital role in the communications of everyone's quotidian lives, so the imminent growth will enhance this role," Nekkanti Added.

In June 2022, Dhruva Space also became one of the first private Indian companies to receive authorization from IN-SPACe for Space Activities. The company went on to successfully Space-qualify its Satellite Orbital Deployer onboard ISRO's PSLV C53.

In October 2022, Dhruva Space was named 'Best Startup - Silver' at the Telangana State Industry Awards 2022.

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