Breaking Space Tech

IIT Bombay’s ‘Pratham’ Is Not The First Satellite Built By Univ Grads

Sriharikota: ISRO's  GSLV-F05 carrying INSAT-3DR takes off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in  Sriharikota on Thursday. PTI Photo / ISRO(PTI9_8_2016_000363A)

Published on September 27th, 2016

With the launch of satellite Pratham, designed and developed by IIT-B students, some jumped in jubilation in the air, some moved to tears in the room as plumes of smoke engulfed the PSLV’s tail. In all, eight satellites were flown, the main one being the indigenous ScatSat-1 which is weather-related.

Sriharikota: ISRO's GSLV-F05 carrying INSAT-3DR takes off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Thursday. PTI Photo / ISRO(PTI9_8_2016_000363A)

Sriharikota: ISRO’s GSLV-F05 carrying INSAT-3DR takes off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Thursday. PTI Photo / ISRO

The 10kg Pratham microsatellite will transmit data when it passes over India and any university with a small ground station can detect its signals and measure the total electron counts (TEC) above the ground station as part of the education process to spread awareness among the students.

pratham_launch

 

The student-designed satellite’s mission is four-fold: acquiring knowledge in the field of satellite and space technology, to fully design it by the students of IIT-B, launch it and measure TEC of ionosphere above India and Paris, and involve students from other universities in the satellite project, said the official.

But what had seemed to be a two-year project to design and build the microsatellite ‘Pratham’ – or the first – on the drawing board, took eight years and seven graduating batches to finish.

pratham

 

In 2008, IIT-B was the first educational institute to approach ISRO with the idea of launching a student satellite – evident from the name given to the satellite mission. Students had come up with 50 names for the mission, each one written on the blackboard of a classroom. After multiple voting, the team zeroed in on ‘Pratham’.

But before Pratham could see the light of the day, six educational institutes such as IIT-Kanpur, Pune-based College of Engineering and Chennai’s Satyabhama University launched their student satellites between 2009 and June this year.

Let’s take a look at those student satellites between 2009 and June this year:

SATHYABAMASAT: A nano satellite
Developed by Sathyabama University, Tamil Nadu
Mission: To collect data on greenhouse gases, water vapour, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen fluoride
Launch Date: June 22, 2016
Launch Vehicle: PSLV- C34

SWAYAM: A pico satellite
Developed by College of Engineering, Pune
Mission: To provide point to point messaging services to the HAM community
Launch Date: June 22, 2016
Launch Vehicle: PSLV- C34

SRMSat: A nano satellite
Developed by SRM (Sri Ramaswamy Memorial) University, Tamil Nadu
Mission: To monitor greenhouse gases
Launch Vehicle: PSLV-C18
Launch Date: 12th October, 2011

JUGNU: A nano-satellite
Developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Mission: Near infrared (IR) camera to capture near IR images of earth surface
Launch Vehicle: PSLV-C18
Launch Date: 12th October, 2011

STUDSAT: A pico satellite
Developed by NITTE Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Bangalore, by undergraduate students from seven academic institutes
Mission: Remote sensing and capturing images of the earth’s surface with a camera having a resolution of 90 meters.
Launch Vehicle: PSLV-C15
Launch Date: 12th July, 2010

ANUSAT: A micro satellite
Developed by Anna University, Tamil Nadu
Mission: To gain experience in the design, building, testing and operation in orbit of a complete micro-satellite.
Launch date: 20 April, 2009
Launch vehicle: PSLV-C12