Pratham, IIT Bombay Student Satellite Project
Pratham, conceptualized in 2008, was designed and developed by many generations of inter-disciplinary teams, comprising of over 100 students in all. The payload is the measurement of the Total Electron Count (TEC) over India and Paris. Under our social goal, we involved other universities in the satellite program, with successful ground stations in colleges like Atharva College of Engineering etc. There were international collaborations also, with institutions like IPGP France, University College London, etc. for the reception of signals. We have received a lot of technical help and guidance from ISRO. The integration and testing of the flight model were done in ISAC, Bangalore. The satellite, weighing 10 kg, was launched on 26th September 2016 from ISRO’s launch pad at Sriharikota, in the Polar sun-synchronous, 670 km orbit. It transmits in the amateur band [beacon at 145.98 MHz (VHF); downlink at 437.45 MHz (UHF)]. GPS, sun-sensors and magnetometers as sensors and magnetorquers as actuators stabilize the satellite in orbit. We aim to monitor the satellite for the next few months. The TEC data will be distributed to various science institutes conducting research in this area. All the funds allotted to this project have been provided by the institute.