IIT-Bombay’s Pratham satellite sends signal from space after two months

Pratham, the micro-satellite launched by a team of students from Indian Institute of Technology � Bombay (IIT-B) returned to life after two months.

IIT-Bombay’s Pratham satellite sends signal from space after two months

Pratham, the micro-satellite launched by a team of students from Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B) returned to life after two months.

The 10-kg satellite has once again started sending beacon signals to the ground station. Pratham was the first satellite to be sent into space by an IIT.

The satellite had received signals in the first few weeks after its launch on September 26, this year, but had gone quiet in November, due to technical difficulties.


“About a week after the launch, beacon signals were recorded at ground stations across the world and at IIT-Bombay. After that, for more than a month we were facing technical difficulties, and unable to receive the signal,” said Ratnesh Mishra, project manager, Pratham, told Hindustan Times.

While the Pratham team has received the beacon signal it is get the down-link signal – that signifies the functionality of the satellite such a battery voltage and temperature. It’s only when the ground station receives both the signals will they be able to start processing the data, which the team estimates will start next week.

He added that the fact that ground station is receiving signals suggests that the satellite has now stabilized and is back to collecting data. Pratham is an Indian ionospheric research satellite which is a part of the student satellite initiative. Its primary mission is to count electrons in the Earth’s ionosphere.

The satellite which is brainchild of two former aerospace engineer students, Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay and Shashank Tamaskar, was conceived in 2008 and since its inception, has had seven batches handle its project team. It was launched on an Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, on September 26, 2016.