IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

IIT-B students’ satellite to be launched by yr-end

Posted on: May 16, 2011

by Times of India
MUMBAI: Pratham, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay’s student satellite project, crossed an important milestone recently with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) giving the ‘go ahead’ for firming up its launch date. Speaking to The Times of India on Sunday at the conclusion of the fourth and final Pratham ground station workshop, project manager Jhonny Santosh Jha said the satellite will be launched on board the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in all probability between September and December 2011.

He said the chances are that Pratham will piggyback on the 450kg Indo-French Saral satellite. With a four-month lifespan, the role of the Rs 1.5-crore 10kg Pratham will be to measure what is known as the “total electron count of the ionosphere.”Once launched it will be placed in the 817-km polar sun synchronous orbit.

“All the table-top testing of Pratham have been successfully completed and we have been given clearance to negotiate the launch date both with the Isro headquarters in Bangalore as well as the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvanathapuram. We will begin assembling the flight model of the satellite this month and hand it over to Isro for further testing two months prior to the launch,” he said.

The purpose of the satellite project is to enable students and faculty to gain knowledge and experience in the field of satellite and space technology and involve students from other universities in IIT-B’s satellite mission by building ground stations in their universities which will receive data from Pratham.

On Sunday, Pratham was thrown open to students from ten universities across the country, including representatives from the Institute of Physics Of the Globe near Paris through videoconferencing. Some student satellites which Isro has launched so far include Anusat of Anna University in Chennai, StudSat, a combined venture of students of Bangalore and Hyderabad, YouthSat, a Indo-Russian student venture, and X-Sat of Singapore.

The purpose of the IIT-B students’ satellite project, Pratham, is to enable students and faculty to gain knowledge and experience in the field of space technology and involve students from other universities in the satellite mission by building ground stations in their universities which will receive data from Pratham.

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