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What is the significance of Pratham- the cube satellite?

  Oct 28, 2016

What is the significance of Pratham- the cube satellite?

Designed to fit within a 30-cm cube, the 10kg Pratham satellite will measure total electron count in the ionosphere that can improve the accuracy of the Global Positioning System in India, and also predict tsunamis. Conceptualised in 2008, Pratham has been worked on by students across IIT-B engineering departments and spread over seven batches. The project cost Rs 1.5 crore.
 
All the signals that are sent by satellites towards earth interact with a layer of electrons (negatively charged particles) in the atmosphere. This interaction changes the behaviour of these signals, and introduces certain errors in the GPS readings, Pratham Knowing the TEC will help predict changes in GPS readings due to such interactions and make necessary corrections to improve GPS readings. In the case of a tsunami, the earthquake responsible for the tsunami often emits high intensity gravity waves that change the electron count drastically. So when someone tries to measure TEC, the readings will be high which can act as a warning for coastal areas for an impending tsunami.