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Institute Lecture on Pratham – The First Student Satellite, IIT-B

Institute Lecture on “Pratham – The First Student Satellite, IIT-B” 

IIT Bombay organized  an Institute Lecture on “Pratham-The First Student Satellite of IIT Bombay” on March 11, 2017.


Yash Sanghvi                                               Ratnesh Mishra

Title : Pratham – The First Student Satellite of IIT-B

Date : March 11, 2017

Speakers :

Mr. Ratnesh Mishra, Project Manager, Satellite Team, IIT Bombay
Mr. Yash Sanghvi, Power Subsystem Head, Pratham, IIT Bombay

Abstract :

Pratham, is a satellite developed by the students of IIT Bombay which was launched back on 26th September 2017. It is a cube shaped satellite (260mm) which weighs 10.15 kg. Payload of the satellite is measurement of TEC: Total Electron Count in the atmosphere.

Yash spoke about how a simple lecture 9 years back raised a question among the founders of the team Saptrishi and Shashank, the answer to which was evolutionary. It gave birth to a dream which got released over a span of 7 years. An insight of the team structure followed this. It has mainly 4 subsystems broadly categorised has Power, Controls, Mechanical and Communication. Power subsystem manages power requirement of the satellite using battery and solar panels. On board computer takes care of all the loads and implementation of control law. Control Subsystem works on algorithms and simulations which ensure stability and pointing of satellite in the orbit. The Mechanical Subsystem is responsible for the thermal and structural analysis which made sure that satellite is strong enough to withstand loads at the time of launch and thermal cycle experienced in the orbit. Communication Subsystem relays telemetry and health data back to the ground station. The intended life of the satellite is four months during which it will generate the Total Electron Count data which has applications in GPS accuracy. In later part of the talk the functioning of the team to achieve such a large success was discussed. The continuation of the project was ensured by implementing a two-tier structure. The project managers ensure coordination in team. A team leader leads each sub-system. Each new recruit is selected by a formal selection procedure which involves a written test, interview and a month long mini project. It is necessary to ensure that the experience and knowledge is systematically passed on from senior members to junior members. Weekly meets are held to discuss completed work and future objectives. Post this, Project Manager Ratnesh answered to the queries from the audience pertaining to the mission, the team, and its future. 

About the Speakers:

Ratnesh Mishra is the current Project manager of the student satellite team of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He is pursuing Integrated Dual Degree in Aerospace Engineering from IIT, Bombay. Yash Sanghvi, is the current Power Subsystem head of the team. He is pursuing Integrated Dual Degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Bombay. He is also the Overall Coordinator of National Service Scheme, IIT - B.