Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch a miniature satellite named ‘Pratham’ designed by IIT Bombay students. Indian space agency will launch ‘Pratham’ along with seven other satellites on September 26, Monday.
The miniature satellite weighs less than 10 kg and measures 30.5cm by 33.4cm by 46.6 cm. Made up of aluminium alloy, the satellite has three monopoles, GPS, magnetometer, sun sensors, magnetorquers and is powered by Li-ion battery and four solar panels. The satellite has been designed to survive at least four years in space.
Pratham will be a co-passenger of ScatSat, which is ISRO’s main satellite. Initially, the two satellites are planned to set into different orbits for about 30 minutes. This is done so as to switch off fourth engine of the rocket, after ejecting ScatSat first. Once it is switched off, the engine will be switched on and put the Pratham satellite into its intended orbit. Pratham will be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit around 670 km above the altitude of the earth.
Ratnesh Mishra, a final year student at IIT-D is the project manager Pratham. Therefore one of the ground stations to track Pratham will be at IIT and another one at Atharva College in Malad. This step will make IIT-B, a centre for advancement of satellite.
International universities like UCL, London and IPGP, Paris have helped IIT-B for the project. Mishra further added that the satellite will measure total electron counts (TEC) while passing above the India at 11:30 am and will send the data back to the station.
The Pratham satellite has four basic missions –
- 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
- involve students from other universities in the satellite project