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A year after Pratham’s success, IIT-B students start work on new satellite

A team of 45 students is currently working on the institute’s next satellite based on the learnings of the several batches of students involved in the making and the flight of Pratham.

Written by Priyanka Sahoo | Mumbai |
October 31, 2017 2:12:45 am
iit bombay, iit bombay satellite, isro, pratham, iit bombay aerospace engineering department, iit bombay students,  Pratham took flight piggybacking on the PSLV launched by the ISRO in September last year

A YEAR since the first student satellite of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay was launched into the space, students at the institute have already started working on a second satellite.

On September 26 last year, Pratham — the satellite that has seen the participation of almost eight batches of students — took flight piggybacking on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation. Two days after the launch, the team at the ground station received the first signal from the satellite. Two months later, the team received signals for an extended period. “When we received the first signals, it made our project achieve 90 per cent success. In December, we received signals from the satellite for about a week proving the success of the project,” said Yash Sanghvi, the project manager of the second satellite project and was also a part of the Pratham team.

The Pratham satellite was conceptualised by two students of the Aerospace Engineering department — Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay and Shashank Tamaskar — around July 2007. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with ISRO in September 2009, which was later extended in 2014. ISRO, besides providing the students with facilities for testing, also bore the expenses of the launch.

In January this year, the lifetime of Pratham officially came to an end and the students then moved on to the next chapter – Advitiy. A team of 45 students is currently working on the institute’s next satellite based on the learnings of the several batches of students involved in the making and the flight of Pratham.

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“We are currently finalising the payload and the preliminary design of Advitiy. Our aim is to build a reliable satellite that is robust, accurate and repeatable. While we are heavily relying on our learnings from Pratham, we are also considering what could have been done differently for Pratham,” said Sanghvi.

The preliminary design, once finalised and approved by the department of Aerospace Engineering, would be presented to experts in ISRO. The response of scientists at ISRO would determine whether the students could repeat their stint of launching a satellite.

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First published on: 31-10-2017 at 02:12:45 am

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