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Launch of Pratham

26 September 2016

Mumbai, September 26, 2016: The launch screening event of Pratham - student satellite of IIT Bombay took place today at 8.30 am. The event was graced by the presence of the Director, Prof. Devang Khakkar, the deans and faculty of IIT Bombay. The event started with the screening of the PSLV lift-off. 

It was a very emotional moment for the whole team with all the people present in the room counting each  second from 10 to the lift-off time. The team presented IIT Bombay, especially IRCC with the mock model of the satellite in gratitude for the immense help extended by the institute towards the project. This was followed by a brief video about the satellite and a presentation describing the technical details of Pratham by the current project manager of the team. 

The Director of IIT Bombay Prof. Devang Khakhar, praised the team for their professionalism and added in support for the team, “After the hard work put in by the team for this project, they should ensure the continuity of the project by going a step further in building the second satellite. The institute will fully support such a venture as it has done till now.” He also focussed on the importance of such a project saying that a project like this is the best way of learning by applying all the skills learnt by the students on a system that cannot get a second chance if failure occurs.

The parents of some of the team members expressed their elation over the successful launch. In the words of one the parents, “The children have put in tremendous efforts towards the realisation of this dream. They have even foregone vacations in order to complete the project.” This was followed by a question and answer session by the five generations of project managers of the team present there. All of them shared their learnings and experiences with everyone. There were few questions asked to them about maintenance of continuity for so many years. In the words of one of the project manager: “It is the duty of a good project leader to share his experiences as well as mistakes with their juniors so that the upcoming team does not repeat the same mistakes. Also, the most important factor for the success of such a long term project is maintaining good documentation.”

The launch screening can be viewed on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_MsylwiwWM&feature=youtu.be

About the post ejection event of satellite:

After getting ejected in the orbit : 670 km and polar sun-synchronous, the satellite will first experience SNAP timer of 50 minutes after which it will switch On. After that, it will tumble for approximately 5 orbits (1 orbit= 90 minutes). After getting stabilised using sensors and actuators, the satellite will start sending signal towards Earth. The satellite will transmit beacon (signature of the satellite) at 145.98 MHz, all over the world. It will transmit health of it over India at frequency 437.455 MHz.

Currently team is focusing on the ground-station and waiting for Pratham to pass over India tonight, to track the satellite which will confirm that it is functional up in the space. 

About Pratham:

Pratham is the first student satellite of IIT Bombay conceptualised in 2008 by two students of the Aerospace department, Saptarishi Bandopadhyay and Shashank Tamaskar. It was a landmark project in its own right given the dearth of projects in the space engineering sector during that time. Pratham along with its scientific and learning objectives also focussed on giving back to society in terms of starting a satellite community among the students of India. In realisation of this goal, the team conducted several workshops and visited institutes for the purpose of sharing knowledge. The team firmly believes in the maxim that knowledge is best acquired when shared.

Further details on Pratham can be found here: http://www.aero.iitb.ac.in/pratham/

About the Team:

The team consists  of members from all departments and batches in the institute. The team is divided into several sub-systems like On-board computer, payload, power and ADCS. The members are selected through a two stage process of a written test and interview. Afterwards, they are allocated  a mini project under a mentor from the team. If the performance of the team is found satisfactory, he/she is inducted into the team.