Over the past few years, Bellatrix Aerospace has become a known name in the field of Aeronautical Engineering, all thanks to Rohan Ganapathy’s innovation – Microwave Plasma Thrusters (MPT) – that have been installed in Indian satellite systems, making them lighter and cheaper.
In 2012, when Rohan was studying Aeronautical Engineering at Coimbatore’s Hindustan College of Engineering and Technology, he started working on the MPT and was keen on installing this innovative propulsion system in satellites. To this end, he proposed this idea to Sajjan Jindal, the Chairman of JSW Group whom he met at one of the events in his college. The latter was so impressed with the idea that he offered Rohan various grants to set up his own company and thus is the origin of Bellatrix Aerospace on the college campus in Coimbatore.
As the team expanded and Rohan needed more hands to work on his project, his friend Yashas Karnam who has completed Electrical and Electronics Engineering joined the company. When we ask him what brought them to Bengaluru, where the company is currently housed, this 26-year-old engineer says, “We realised that we would be getting many experts on board to work with us and through the Society for Innovation and Development (SID), we shifted to the Indian Institute of Science.
With money comes the infrastructure, but we were yet to work on the machine itself. Here, we got the equipment and the machinery to work on and test out the propulsion system that we called MPT.”
Curious to know more about MPT and how it works, we ask Yashas to explain what makes it unique. He says, “Do you know what is the biggest challenge for any country while sending their satellite into space?