Indian space agency ISRO will shoot off the “Pratham” satellite designed and built by students of the IIT-Bombay among the eight satellites including its weather satellite on Monday, an official said in Mumbai.
Conceptualised in 2008 with the aim of making IIT-B a centre for space science and technology research, the satellite weighs just 10 kg, is designed to fit within a cube of 30 cms, and has a life span of around four months.
“The objective of Pratham is to empower the students involved with the skill set required to develop a statellite through various stages of design, analysis, fabrication and testing,” said the official.
The project will also kickstart a collaboration between IIT-B and other Indian universities keen to contribute in the space sector and to share knowledge and facilties.
This has led to completion of ground-stations for tracking the satellite in several college, including the Atharva College of Engineering here.
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The IIT-B has collaborated with some international universities like UCL, London and IPGP, Paris for the project.
Pratham 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.
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 uonosphere above India and Paris, and involve students from other universities in the satellite project, said the official.