Ground Station

The main ground station for receiving Pratham signals is situated on the roof-top of Aerospace Department of IIT Bombay. It has the following major functions:

  • Satellite tracking and receiving segment
  • Uplink transmission segment
  • Payload data logging

Main Ground Station of Pratham on the roof-top of Aerospace Department, IIT Bombay

Ground Station Block Diagram

At the GS we have some self-fabricated and some off-the shelf components.

  • Antennas: Two pairs of crossed yagi antennas, one pair for each frequency band i.e. central frequency 145.98 MHz, 437.455 MHz
  • Transceiver base station: Kenwood TS2000 radio demodulates the FSK signal and stores the data in the mainframe.
  • A pair of AD8302 modules measures RF gain and phase value between the two inputs it takes Uses Log amplifiers to calculate the value of log (InpA/ InpB)
  • Low Noise Amplifiers: 4 low noise amps are being used on the distinct feeds from antennas
  • Rotor arrangement with an Interface circuit to integrate the device with software architecture. Rotor (Yeasu G-5500) is being used to orient the antenna structure to the required inclination with respect to reference level. The rotor interacts with the mainframe via Rotor Controller Interface (RCI-USB by EA4TX)

Ground Station Mainframe Setup

Tracking Pratham

The Ham community is very critical to the success of any satellite working in the amateur band. We are also looking forward to hearing from Hams around the world for beacon and telemetry reports.

Pratham has been assigned the Identifier - 41783 by NORAD. It can now be tracked using n2yo at

Here are the details required to track the satellite.

Beacon Telemetry
Frequency 145.98 MHz 437.455 MHz
Modulation CW Morse code FSK, AX.25
Data rate 35 wpm 1200 bps
EIRP 23 dbm 18 dbm
Region transmitted over Whole World India and France

Listen to one of the First Beacon signals received from Pratham


Please share with us the Downlink of Pratham received by you at or

‚ÄčThe following is the TLE data for the satellite:

1 41785U 16059C 16271.69947962 .00004609 00000-0 88934-3 0 9999
2 41785 98.2049 329.2442 0030494 263.1090 96.7138 14.63229411 193

Activities at the Ground station

Regular tracking activities go on at the GS. We use a crossed yagi antenna, 3 Low Noise amplifiers (total gain of 63 dB) and Kenwood TS2000 for listening to the satellites. For pass predictions is used and Predict is used on a Linux system for automated tracking. We have tracked the following satellite beacons successfully so far:

  • CUTE 1
  • CUTE 1.7+APDII
  • HORYU 4
  • XW-2A

Ground Station Workshops

Team Pratham feels that the entire country should benefit by the knowledge and experience that the team has gained while going through the satellite building process. We propose to share our knowledge by organizing workshops which will inspire others in the field of satellite technology. A Google Group named "Social Goal IITB Satellite Pratham" has been launched to facilitate sharing of information among the participating universities. Please join it.

For more information about previous Ground Station workshops click here.

The list of institutes and universities that attended the workshop are as follows:

  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Deoghar
  • Atharva College of Engineering
  • College of Engineering, Pune
  • National Institute of Technology, Calicut
  • Gujrat University
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  • Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli
  • Mumbai University
  • Gyanganga university
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Engineering, Navi Mumbai
  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
  • University School of Sciences (Physics Department)
  • Thapar University, Patiala
  • University College of Engineering, Kota
  • Yadavrao Tasgoankar College of Engg. and Management
  • National Institute of Technology Surathkal
  • Government Engineering College Gandhinagar
  • Vishwakarma Government Engg. College Chandkheda
  • National Institute of Technology Bhopal