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Virtual Laboratory in Satellite Modeling & Simulation

Aim of the experiment(s)


This is a collection of 3 experiments related to satellites. They help one understand 3 major subsystems of a satellite.


  • Thermals,
  • Controls,
  • Measurement of Total Electron Count in the Ionosphere


These experiments are offered by ISSP (IIT Bombay Student Satellite Project). ISSP started as an initiative of UG students in July 2007 and aims to conceive, design and develop a micro-Satellite named ‘Pratham’ and get it into orbit with the help of ISRO.


ISSP has provided valuable learning opportunity to large number of students of IITB. This learning happened through the use of a set of simulation softwares that were developed as part of their project. ISSP intends to extend this learning opportunity to a wider segment of student community outside of IITB. Virtual Laboratory in Satellite Modelling & Simulation offers distance learning opportunity in Satellite Technology through online experiments. In this laboratory, students can perform experiments with the same tools that helped ISSP team to learn about Satellites; these are the same tools that helped ISSP team to design Pratham.


Experiments are in some ways specific to Pratham. But they offer good amount of learning opportunities about satellites in general.


Target group


The target groups are 3 and they are listed in decreasing order of benefits they can derive from these virtual experiments.

  1. Senior students of engineering who have special interest in Satellite related learning, because they are involved in student satellite project of their college or group of colleges.  ISRO has encouraged many institutions to initiate student satellite projects and this activity is expected to peak up in another couple of years.  There is a large body of students who are keenly interested in this learning and that size will increase in next couple of years.  These virtual experiments will help them move forward in their projects.  They can use virtual lab to get results for their own proposed designs.  These results (actual numbers) will help them take design decisions.
  2. Freshmen and sophomore students of engineering who are keen learners and want answers to their curiosities in satellite and the harsh conditions they face in orbits.  They are not interested in actual numbers, but ball-park figures and trends that help them appreciate things.  Eg.  How much solar energy will fall on the satellite during its orbit?  When does a satellite designer start worrying about the need to heat a battery?    If a mission and choice of camera requires a pointing accuracy of ±1 degree what will happen if we do not have a controller?  These and many other questions can be posed here to find answers.
  3. Students of science who have a keen interest in space and satellite and do search out reading material.  This is small fraction of students but benefits of addressing them are immense, as they are talented and highly motivated. Their curiosity will be at the same level as those in group 2.


About the experiments


Virtual Laboratory in Satellite Modelling & Simulation is driven entirely by simulations. These simulations are based on realistic science based models. Each experiment is preceded by a brief tutorial that will help you brush up necessary background material. It will suggest extra reading material if you find the tutorials difficult. Once you complete the tutorials you can move on to set up the experiment and perform it. Setting up of the experiment is actually preparation of input data for the simulation. Performing the experiment is the remote execution of the simulation. Results will be presented to you graphically in most cases. You will also have the option to download the data for your own processing.

Cite this Simulator:

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