A light-weight satellite built by a 17-year-old aspiring medical student from Trichy will study the effects of air pollution and global warming in various regions including major cities in Tamil Nadu. Named after Anitha, the student who committed suicide last year after she failed to clear NEET exams to get an MBBS seat, the 500g Anitha-SAT, packed in a conical-shaped capsule will take off in a helium balloon from Mexico City on May 6.
K A Villet Oviya, who built the satellite with help from industry experts and NGOs, said the satellite will carry sensors that will measure various parameters like temperature, pressure, air quality and concentration of gases including carbon monoxide when it reaches an altitude of 15km in its three-hour lifespan.
For Oviya, who is now busy preparing for NEET exam, it was her short stint as a participant in a reality TV show identifying budding scientists, E7ham Arivu, three years back that motivated her to come up with the idea of building a satellite. “I wanted to do something to create awareness about air pollution. My love for electrical and electronics drove me further to conceptualise Anitha-SAT,” said Oviya, who is awaiting her Class XII result.
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