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Pratham [IITB]

Pratham is a nanosatellite built by the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Bombay.

Pratham is a satellite developed under a plan to build a fully functional microsatellite in less than three years which would then be launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is entirely a student initiative with mentorship provided by ISRO scientists and the IIT Bombay Faculty.

The 10 kg nanosatellite and measures 26 cm × 26 cm × 26 cm. Pratham's carries a science payload to measure the total electron count in a sun-synchronous orbit. The objective was to measure total electron count (TEC) in the ionosphere that, which can be used to improve the accuracy of the Global Positioning System in India and to predict tsunamis.

Pratham was launched piggy back into low Earth on a PSLV-G (3) rocket. Reportedly the groundstation received the satellites beacon, but not the downlink. The microsatellite needed both the beacon and downlink signals to start TEC measurements. In the absence of either signal, TEC measurement was not successful.

Nation: India
Type / Application: Technology, Earth observation
Operator: IIT Bombay (IITB)
Contractors: IIT Bombay (IITB)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 4 months
Mass: 10 kg
Orbit: 661 km × 708 km, 98.20
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Pratham 2016-059A 26.09.2016 Sr FLP PSLV-G (3) with SCATSAT 1, AlSat 1B, AlSat 2B, BlackSky Pathfinder 1, PISat, AlSat-Nano, CanX 7


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