Nearly eight years after the inception of the dream, students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) are one step away from launching ‘Pratham’, the first student satellite of the institute. Six students from IIT-B have been working at the satellite centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to gear up the pre-launch of the satellite.
The official date of the launch has not been announced yet but the team has been directed to be ready by September 26. Students have been working after their classes in order to achieve deadlines and get the satellite ready within time.
A MoU was signed between IIT-B and ISRO in September 2009 that was extended in 2014. Apart from providing testing infrastructure to the development team, ISRO is also funding the launch of the satellite.
Working with ISRO has been an educating experience for the students as the organization works with a zero-error policy and precision is required at every point.
Here are some of the highlights of Pratham – IIT-B’s first Student Satellite:
- The satellite will be launched to serve as a piggyback for ISRO’s ScatSat PSLV.
- It will measure the total electron count of the ionosphere and this data will be transmitted to either of the universities having a ground station.
- The satellite is capable of detecting exact GPS locations and predicting tsunamis.
- The dimensions of the satellite are 30.5cm X 33.5cm X 46.6cm and it weighs around 10kg.
- It was conceptualized by Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay and Shashank Tamaskar of the Aerospace Engineering department in 2007. The team now comprises of 30 students.
The project got delayed as the team kept changing. One of the two project managers, Manvi Dhawan informed that all the tests have been performed and they are just waiting for the PSLV to lift off with the satellite.