ISRO’s POEM-3 Platform Successfully Fulfills All Payload Goals

ISRO’s POEM-3 platform, which uses the spent fourth stage of PSLV as an orbital experimental module, has achieved all its payload objectives and is set to re-enter Earth in May 2024. The platform was launched on January 1, 2024, along with XPoSAT, India’s first mission to study black holes and neutron stars.

What is POEM-3?

POEM-3 stands for PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3. It is a unique and inexpensive technology that allows ISRO to use the PS4 stage, which would otherwise become space debris, to conduct scientific experiments in microgravity conditions for an extended duration of four to six months . POEM-3 is a three-axis-attitude controlled platform with power generation and telecommand and telemetry capabilities, for supporting payloads . It derives power from the solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank and a lithium-ion battery. It navigates using four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyroscopes, and NavIC.

What are the payload objectives?

POEM-3 carried 11 payloads from various institutes and industries, including XPoSAT’s ABPP (Aditya Birla Polarimeter Payload), which is designed to measure the polarization of X-rays from cosmic sources such as black holes and neutron stars. By 25th day in orbit, POEM-3 completed 400 orbits. As on January 27, 2024, POEM’s orbit measured around 322 kilometres by 352 kilometres. The spacecraft is expected to continue orbiting the Earth for about 75 days before re-entering the planet’s atmosphere . After achieving all objectives, more experiments with POEM-3 are planned for generating data for future missions including upcoming POEM configurations.

Why is POEM-3 important?

POEM-3 is important because it demonstrates ISRO’s capability to use the spent PS4 stage as a versatile platform for conducting various experiments in space. It also showcases ISRO’s commitment to sustainable space practices by reducing space debris. Moreover, POEM-3 enables ISRO to test new technologies and payloads in orbit before deploying them in dedicated missions. POEM-3 is also a cost-effective way of conducting space research as it utilizes the existing resources of the PSLV launch vehicle .

Leave a Comment