Satellite 101

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Flight model of Pratham, the first student satellite of IIT Bombay.

Welcome to the Satellite 101 Wiki. This Wiki has been created exclusively by the members of the IIT Bombay Student Satellite Project (IITBSSP), as a part of our social goal of spreading knowledge and enthusiasm related to satellite and space technology among various aspiring students and universities across the globe. We hope that several student teams at various stages of their satellite projects will find this to be a valuable source of relevant and targeted knowledge and information. This page will give you an overview of this wiki and tell you what to expect and what NOT to expect from this wiki.


After the successful launch of the first satellite of IIT Bombay, Pratham, it was felt that the knowledge and the experience accumulated by the Pratham team over the years should be systematically preserved for the future teams. Pratham satellite was built by students who were passionate about building something that would outlive them. No academic credits were provided for making the satellite. It was taken up by the students as an extra-curricular project. The entire project was student-run, and the team was self-taught, with mentorship and guidance from faculty members and support from IIT Bombay and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Consequently, invaluable knowledge was accumulated by the team, which could not be gained through any academic course or from a book, but through experience and rigour, and it needed to be preserved. In parallel, we were approached by several students who were seeking help in starting off a Student Satellite Project in their own college/university. Strongly motivated by our social goal to spread our knowledge, we were looking for a way of helping aspiring students in a detailed manner without compromising with the work of IITBSSP. These requirements led to the birth of this Satellite 101 wiki. Since the team began working on IIT Bombay's second satellite, Advitiy (अद्वितीय) around the time this idea was born, we decided to maintain this wiki in parallel to our work on Advitiy so that it can keep evolving with our experience.

What to expect from this Wiki

Attempts have been made to keep this wiki as general as possible, so as not to bias the viewer in any way towards any particular design. You can expect the following from this wiki:

  • A detailed description of the roles and requirements of the subsystems in the satellite
  • An amalgamation of the knowledge about various concepts required to build a satellite
  • Guidelines on how to get started and how to plan your mission
  • A comprehensive description of the various alternative options available at each stage of design, with a comparison of pros and cons of each option
  • Certain experiences of the team and the lessons learnt through these experiences

Above all, expect this wiki to be a go-to place whenever you are stuck. More often than not, you'll find a direction for way ahead when going through this wiki. Also expect this wiki to evolve continuously

What NOT to expect from this Wiki

Please don't expect the following from this wiki:

  • A satellite design, which can be easily replicated by you
  • Step by step instructions for how to make a satellite. This is anyway practically impossible since each satellite is a different system. We will simply be focussing on general guidelines which can be applicable to every system
  • Design and analyses files of Pratham. As explained already, we are aiming for a general wiki and hence don't want to bias the viewers with Pratham's design

This wiki is not meant to replace the efforts required to be put in when building a satellite. It is meant to supplement them.

Expectations from the reader

We expect all our visitors to view this wiki as a collective resource that can be improved continuously through active contributions from the community. While we have made efforts to make this wiki error-proof, there is a definite possibility of some errors cropping up here and there. Hence it is strongly recommended that you cross-check with references if you are adhering to a fact stated in this wiki. Also, all corrections/improvements in the form of comments and suggestions are very much welcome and our visitors are expected to help the team make this wiki better.

Getting Started

Subsystems within a satellite

Depending on the stage of the project you are already in, one or more of the following links will be a useful starting point for you, in this wiki:

About IIT Bombay Student Satellite Project

See IIT Bombay Student Satellite Project to know more about us.
For queries/feedback/suggestions, please send a mail to

Credits and Acknowledgements

See Satellite 101 Wiki Credits