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S. Somnath, the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), In an interview with Asianet News Tamil, Somnath shared an intriguing anecdote about ISRO’s SPF. ISRO’s SPF left such a profound impression that NASA, the renowned United States space agency. ISRO had send its SPF to United States for the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite project. To everyone’s surprise, NASA was so impressed by the SPF’s capabilities that they decided to retain it after the request.

Designed and developed in-house by ISRO’s U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), this fixture plays a crucial role in the Assembly, Integration, and Test (AIT) of spacecraft.

One of the standout features of the SPF is its ability to provide three degrees of freedom of motion, which are essential for spacecraft handling during the integration process:

  1. Tilting Capability: The SPF can tilt a spacecraft to an elevation angle ranging between +/- 90 degrees. This feature is crucial for positioning the spacecraft correctly during assembly and integration, ensuring precision and accuracy in the process.
  2. 360-Degree Rotation: The SPF allows for a complete 360-degree rotation of the spacecraft about its Azimuth (Az.) axis. This rotational capability is vital for accessing different sides of the spacecraft for component installation and testing.
  3. Vertical Translation: The SPF facilitates vertical translation, enabling the spacecraft to move up and down as needed during the assembly and integration phases. This motion is essential for aligning various spacecraft components and ensuring a seamless integration process.

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