Monday would be the red letter day for the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) as the satellite 'Pratham' will be launched along with eight other satellites of ISRO. This satellite is planned, designed and built by the students of IIT Bombay.
The students of IIT-Bombay decided to build Pratham in the year 2008 with an aim to turn the prestigious technological institute into a platform for space science and technology research. The satellite weighs 10 kg and it can easily fit into a cube of 30 cm. The lifespan of Pratham is said to be 4 months.Pratham's payload instrument has two monopole antennae that are capable of transmitting at 145.98MHz and 437.45MHz.
The satellite measures 30.5 cm X 33.4cm X 46.6 cm and weighs 10.12 kg.
The materials used for building Pratham are aluminium alloy and other space-grade materials. It also carries an in-built computer.
Pratham also comprises three monopoles, GPS, magnetometer, sun sensors, magnetorquers. It draws its power from a Li-ion battery and four solar panels.
The main idea behind building Pratham is to equip the students who aspire to design or build satellites with required skill sets. And they will be taught building satellites through design, analysis, fabrication, and testing.
By building Pratham, the IIT Bombay students have paved way for tie- ups between universities and ISRO for building satellites and contributing for further development of space science and related research.
What will Pratham do?
Once placed in the orbit, Pratham, the brain-child of IIT-B students, will transmit data whenever it is crossing India. At that time, any university possessing a small ground station can detect its signals and measure the Total Electron Counts (TEC).
The tiny satellite is designed to serve the following purposes:
- accumulation of knowledge in the field of satellite, space science and technology
- IIT-B students will completely design the satellite, launch it and measure TEC of the ionosphere above India and Paris
- engaging students from other universities in the satellite projects
ISRO will position Pratham in a sun-synchronous orbit about 670 km away and it will travel over India at 11.30 a.m.