POEM-3, the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3, India’s unique inexpensive space platform using the spent PS4 stage of the PSLV-C58 vehicle that launched XPoSat on January 1, 2024, has successfully achieved all its objectives. After deploying the satellite into its intended orbit at 650 km, the vehicle was lowered to 350 km circular orbit to minimize the time of orbit decay after completion of the experiment. It is a three-axis-attitude controlled platform with power generation and telecommand & telemetry capabilities, for supporting Payloads.
By 25th day in orbit, POEM-3 completed 400 orbits. Its current orbit measures around 322 km by 352 km. It is predicted that POEM-3 will continue orbiting for approximately 73 more days before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
POEM-3 flew with nine Payloads from VSSC, PRL, Academia, and Space start-ups inducted through IN-SPACe. Over this period, each payload was put into operation, as planned and performance was demonstrated. The experiments of ARKA200 (Xenon Based Electric Propulsion) and RUDRA (HAN based Green Propellant Thruster) from Bellatrix, and LEAP-TD (Satellite Bus with VHF/UHF Downlink & UHF Uplink – Tested using IIST ground station) from Dhruva Space were completed. Payload Data is collected regularly for WeSAT (Solar irradiance and UV Index study) from LBS Institute of Technology for Women, BeliefSat0(Amateur Radio satellite) from KJ Somayia Institute of Technology, RSEM (Radiation Shielding experiment) from TakeMe2Space, and DEX (interplanetary Dust particle experiment) from PRL for every orbit. 100 W Fuel Cell Power System(FCPS) and Si-C based High Power Li-Ion (10AH/32V) Battery from VSSC were also demonstrated. Thus all payload objectives were fully met. In missions of POEM-1 to POEM-3, ISRO has flown a total of 21 payloads from various institutes and industries.
After achieving all objectives, more experiments with POEM-3 are planned for generating data for future missions including upcoming POEM configurations. With the orbital decay and reentry of POEM-3 in three months, PSLV-C58 XPoSat mission will be leaving zero debris in space.