IIT-B developing microsatellite

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on December 19, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

I got a great shock today morning reading the newspapers. Got the news that IIT-B is developing a 10-kg micro-satellite.

This is a growing trend of developing small satellites that I am so happy to see in India. I have been wanting to see something like this happen ever since I saw the CalPoly Cubesat page that was filled with student satellite projects from other countries.

While the newspaper article quotes only the other satellite developed by Anna University, there are satellites under development at IIA, IISc and VIT besides the one at IIT-B and Anna University. I also hear reports of a college in Hyderabad starting their own small satellite project as well. SEDS-India also has a small satellite project that you will hear from soon.

It’s a small satellite project in the making and I can name atleast a dozen colleges which can take up the project if there are interested students there. IIT-Kanpur is one of them.  Hopefully, this student satellite space race will lead to something more substantial in the future.

With so many student satellites in the offing, the Indian rocketry community has a great opportunity in their hands. Anyone listening?

Space and Ham Radio

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on December 15, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

I fell in love with ham radios in 2004 when I was an electronics student (as an elective) in my junior college. In the same year, I read Maryam’s blog and saw that ham radios can be used in space arena too. It was only the exams that I had to give to obtain a ham license that made me think twice. At that point, I had written a string of engineering admission tests that was driving me nuts and I couldn’t handle another test.

At the SEDS International Conference 2007, some of the earlier interest was re-kindled and also an amazing ‘discovery’. ISRO had a ham radio club.

2 + 2 = 4 !!!

It would be really great if we could establish a ham radio club in every SEDS chapter in India. Besides performing scientific experiments and performing basic satellite communication operations if needed, it also opened another door – a way of talking to ISRO and literally!

ISRO has a ham radio club at most of its centres – Thumba Amateur Radio Club (VU2TRC) at VSSC, ISTRAC Amateur Radio Club (VU2FBS) at Bangalore, at the Master Control Facility (VU2MCF) at Hassan and the more famous Upagraha Amateur Radio Club (VU2URC) at Bangalore. This provides a great opportunity to talk to ISRO scientists who are not always phone and email friendly.

Besides that, we could also talk to SEDS chapters all over the world for free (Internet and telephone still include costs) besides networking in India. Who wants to take the challenge first? This is also an opportunity for all hams who have a space interest!

For more info, visit www.amsatindia.org.

Your meteorites belong to Calcutta Museum

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on December 15, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

I read an article today in the Times of India which runs a column called Tribal Instincts, which talks about unusual groups.This week they covered an astronomy club called Aakash Ganga Centre for Astronomy.

Bharat Adur from the Centre revealed what for me was a strange piece of information: any object falling from the sky on Indian territory, as per law belongs to the Calcutta Museum. I don’t know if this is a law that is implemented or followed but it seems strange.

Shouldn’t the collection which can be useful for astronomical, biological and geological research be at a centre that looks at it from all of these view points? Maybe, we need something along the lines of the International Meteor Organisation. Just worth thinking about.

Change in Attitudes

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on December 13, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

When I started out with my SEDS chapter in Mumbai, I had an idea of how to do projects. I decided that I would think of all of my dream projects and get my friends to work on them with me. After four years in SEDS and interacting with many people I have changed that perception.

Imposing projects on people doesn’t work many times. It’s best if you get members to think of ideas and then helping them implement the same. Over the next two weeks or more, I want to put here all the things that I dreamed for doing for my chapter so that you can implement the same in your chapters and actually DO something.

I hope that you’re not affected by the attitude that I had when I joined. It proved disastrous for me.

Giving directions to writings here

Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as https://blogs.seds.org/pradeep. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on December 5, 2007 as per the timestamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.

Before beginning to actually write about my work with SEDS India and SEDS Earth, I felt the need to clarify myself on many points.

One of the reasons that I love to write on blogs is because it is a dynamic record of a person’s thoughts. I might feel really great that I thought of all these things today but might actually laugh at them later. There are many factors that causes this change in perception. It maybe because you now have access to people and information you never had earlier. Or it maybe because you are less dumb now than you were earlier.

Writing here, I hope to achieve two things – make people who look at this years later (including me) to understand my intentions in making the decisions that I made and to give ideas for those activities that may one day be possible but which may now be impossible.