Mumbai: In a big feat for IIT-Bombay, a micro-satellite designed by its students became a part of the eight satellites which were launched by ISRO through PSLV C-35 on Monday.
Started by Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay and Shashank Tamaskar in 2008, the then third year students of Aerospace Engineering, completed the project in almost eight years.
Since then, as many as 80 students from various batches joined the project and worked on it.
It is the first satellite to be designed and launched in the space by the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay.
PSLV C-35, which included PRATHAM academic satellite, lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota on Monday. The PSLV C-35 also carries India’s SCATSAT-1 meant for ocean and weather studies along with seven other satellites.
The 10-kg Pratham microsatellite will measure the total electron count (TEC) in the ionosphere that can improve the accuracy of the global positioning system in India and predict tsunamis, an official of the IIT-B said.
Designed to fit within a 30-cm cube, the Rs 1.5 crore microsatellite will orbit at an altitude of 670-km and orbit over India at 11.25 am every day.
The life cycle of the mission is four months, but the satellite will be able to continue collecting data on the electron count, a professor of the institute said.
Beside SCATSAT-1 and PRATHAM, the 44.4 metre tall workhorse PSLV rocket also carried another academic satellite developed by BES University, Bengaluru; three from Algeria and one each from the US and Canada.
Before PRATHAM, six educational institutes such as IIT-Kanpur, Pune-based College of Engineering and Chennai’s Satyabhama University succeeded in launching academic satellites between 2009 and June this year. Pratham
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were among those who lauded the feat of the young scientists.
Congratulations to our promising & talented students of @iitbombay, who created the Pratham satellite that was launched today.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 26, 2016
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) September 26, 2016