Sunday, August 4, 2013

IEEE R10 Congress.. The Hyderabad Visit!!

IEEE R10 Student/Gold/WIE Congress in co-ordination with Lab – X foundation had organized an International Poster & Prototype Presentation Competition with an initiative to empower Indian students to represent themselves at an International platform. As we felt our project has a opportunity to receive an international acclaim, we decided to participate in it.

We submitted two abstracts pertaining to the systems used in our Ground-Station, Satellite Ground-Station: TEC measurement & Communication on VHF & UHF bands and Antenna Rotor Mechanism & Satellite Tracking system. Two days later, we received the call all of us were eagerly awaiting. We had been selected as one of the finalists in the competition!!! The abstract selected was ‘Antenna Rotor Mechanism & Satellite tracking system’.

 We worked hard on preparing the poster which was then reviewed by our seniors & submitted. We also worked on honing our presentation skills. Finalizing the contents, getting ready all the paper work in place, preparing for the journey, there was lot of work to be done.

Poster Presented

We embarked on an exciting expedition; the journey to the city of Pearls, Hyderabad! On 11th of July our team departed from Mumbai with our poster.

13th July was the D- day! The day of Presentation. The presentation was at Hotel Taj Krishna. Along with us, there were teams from all over the world representing their respective colleges and universities, showcasing innovative ideas extremely commendable. It was a really nice exposure to team Ground-Station. Along with the competition, there were conferences by International speakers on various topics like Human Centric - Technology & ResearchEnergy and Environment Conservation, Sustaining the Future, Start-up ideas and young Entrepreneurs, etc.

The competition judges were present and IEEE Presidents Moshe Kam, Roberto de Marca, Peter Staecker and Michael Lightner and delegates of the congress included IEEE Presidents from various regions. 

Few of the projects / prototypes displayed were:-
Team with the Poster.
    1. Bio-energy And Bio-plastic production by Lignocellulosic Market Waste.
    2. Cognitive Humanoid Autonomous Modular Platform.
    3. Cognitive Learning Assisted Robotic Arm (CLARA)
    4. Weather Station Data analysis using MATLAB.
    5. Solarian Effect: Trapping of Sun’s Energy for Fresh Drinking Water.
    6. The Humanoid Robot.
    7. Infinity Printer.
    8.  Low cost handover in Leo - Satellites.

The judges and dignitaries appreciated our work at college level & were glad to see and advanced communication project. They appreciated the presentation and also gave us suggestions for further development. We had a very good discussion with most of the dignitaries. Many universities currently working on launching Student Satellites took great interest in our project.

Ground - Station Team
This conference proved to be a excellent learning exposure for the team. The response and appreciation we received there was simply overwhelming and motivated us to stay true to our motto....

We Innovate Communication,
                                                                     We Communicate Innovation!!!”

Looking forward for an interactive response....

Team Ground Station,
Atharva College of Engineering.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

IMD and Rs/Rw Visit

         We visited the Regional Meteorological Department, RSRW Observatory, Vile Parle on the 14th of February 2013. Our objective in visiting RMD was to understand the weather monitoring system used in the observatory. Prior to this we had also visited the Indian Meteorological Department on 8th February 2013, Colaba, for the very same objective.
         The Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai is one of the six Regional Centres of India Meteorological Department. This Centre was established in April 1945 for providing weather related services to the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat excluding Vidarbha region of Maharashtra State. These centres are under the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. WMO provides the framework for international cooperation on weather data. WMO promotes cooperation in the establishment of networks for making meteorological, climatological, hydrological and geophysical observations, as well as the exchange, processing and standardization of related data, and assists technology transfer, training and research.

Forecasting Services done by the observatories in India are :   
§  Cyclone Warning Services for Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat states and Arabian Sea.

§  Services to Aviation.

§  Services for Shipping & Fisheries, and  Ports.

§  Inland Warning Services to District revenue, Irrigation, Railway.

§  Services to Public by issue of weather bulletins and warnings.

§  Services to Agriculture and Farmers.

§  Hydrometeorological and Flood Forecasting Services.

§  Supply of Meteorological data to members of public, Government Agencies and Industries for research and planning.

        The setups at both the places were similar. They used both primitive and modern techniques for measurement and compared the readings obtained. The modern equipments were good but the primitive techniques of weather monitoring and data acquisition were mind-blowing. We were amazed to see how highly efficient the ancient techniques were inspite of having less resources and technology in those days.

       The weather data from IMD and Rs/Rw is given to a geostationary meteorological satellite (METSAT) system devoted totally to meteorology which was launched in 2002. It has been renamed as Kalpana-1 and is currently the operational satellite system being used by IMD.

       We saw the live recording of an earthquake on ritcher scale at IMD Colaba. The earthquake occurred at Santa Cruz Islands, USA, magnitude 6.9 (which is quite high), at the same time. It also has a Doppler radar imaging setup.
 Following  equipments  are currently in use at the Rs/Rw observatory: 

1.      Stevenson’s Screen – Used for temp Measurement. Four types : 
       i. Dry Valve – Used for Humidity and Dew point measurement.
 ii. Wet Valve – Used for Humidity and Dew point Measurement.
 iii. Max Valve – Similar to Doctors thermometer. It doesnot allow back flow of mercury.
 iv. Min Valve – It is permanently calibrated once in a day. The dumbles within it falls back as per the temperature.The first 3 thermometers are mercury thermometers and the last one is an alcohol thermometer 
as its freezing point is below mercury and thus becomes useful in colder regions.
  2.  Self-Recording Rain Guage – Measures average rainfall without   manual help...... and hence known as self recording. It consists of a funnel of fixed diameter depending on  the scale used. Once the funnel is filled with water upto 10 mm the water gets drained from the funnel and is collected in a jar. Its accuracy is around 98 %.
        3.   Ordinary Rain Guage – Measurements here are done manually every 3 hours. It is highly accurate with accuracy 100 %.
        4.   Barograph – Used to measure pressure.
Barographs are of 2 types – Direct and Q- pattern. In Direct,
the height should be known and the one being used at Rs/Rw is  the Q  pattern barometer. Readings are taken every 24 hours and the graphs are plotted accordingly.
        5.    Thermograph – Used for temperature measurement. It is based on a simple concept; the bimetallic plate in it expands and contracts proportionally with temperature.
       6.      Hygrograph – Measures humidity. Uses wet horse hair since hair expands on getting wet and contracts drying.
       7.      Sunshine recorder – It uses a convex lens. Rays are focused at a particular point after they pass through the lens and is focused on a curved metallic strip. The strip length is long, short and straight for different seasons depending on the length of the day.
       8.      Wind Vane- It is used to measure wind direction. It consists of  three Anometers which are circular in shape. The wind speed measurement is done manually.

       They also have a fully automated weather station which is very much similar to the one installed by Atharva Satellite Ground Station in our college. The data from their automated weather station is transmitted to Kalpana using a stationary crossed Yagi Antenna of 401MHz.

       These equipments were well maintained. We were lucky to see a live demonstration of all these equipments.

  1. The observatory launches 4 hydrogen balloon of 70gm at different time intervals to measure height(12km-14km), wind speed and direction.
  2. It also ascends two hydrogen balloon of 800gm with a payload to measure overall weather data at different atmospheric levels upto a range of 30km.
  3. The hydrogen filled in the balloon is prepared in the hydrogen shed. The chemicals used are ferrisilicon, caustic soda and water which is mixed in  large cylinders kept under 100 atm pressure.
  4. The payload used for 800gm balloon consists of a thermistor, humidity sensor(hygristor) , transmitter, a capsule filled with vacuum which expands as pressure increases and a  battery.
  5. The battery, aquasonde is a 22V, water activated battery which has to be immersed in water for 5 minutes before use. Its advantage over other batteries is that it is cost effective and comparatively lighter in weight.
  6. The total weight of the payload of the balloon is about 1kg.
  7. The antennas used for tracking the balloon were helical antenna, 2 and 5 beam-width radar.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The YLs and OMs of Atharva Satellite Ground Station

Amateur radio is a community of people who use radio transmitters and receivers to communicate with others Amateur radio operators. Amateur radio operators are often called Ham Radio Operators or simply "HAMS". Amateur (HAM) Radio is truly a hobby but often what makes a difference is during emergencies and natural disasters. It is an activity of Self -Learning, Inter-Communication & Technical Investigation carried on between Amateur Radio Operators. HAMS often communicate over the radio waves using a hand-held transceiver, communicating digitally with packet radio to exchange personal messages or vital information or talking to other hams in space which clearly shows there is something for everyone.

Our technically inclined team thought HAM radio as a very good opportunity in order to get themselves well acquainted with communication so that they themselves could make use of the radio frequencies when it comes to communication with satellites. With this very thought they appeared for the Amateur HAM Radio exam conducted by Ministry of Communications, Government of India.

On November 10th, 2012 the team acquired their HAM licences and became international HAM’s. The boys are called Old Men(OM) and the girls are called Young Ladies(YL) in Amateur Radio terms. The licensed HAMS of the team are :-

Anuj Tiwari
Aniruddha Khadye
Divya Acharya
Gaurav Shukla
Nikhil Joshi
Nirali Khandhar                                                                                     
Pranav Athalaye
Ishan Kapse
Saurabh Sanghai
Siddharth Trivedi
Now as most of the team members are a licensed HAM, we can make use of the radio frequencies for communication. Even the current team is pursuing their course for appearing the HAM exam to acquire their licences at the earliest. We also hope to contact all base stations on Radio spectrum and spread our motto –

“We Innovate Communication...
  We Communicate Innovation..."
We look forward for some interactive inputs…

Team Ground–Station,
Atharva College of Engineering.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

IPGP Visit to ACE - GS

22nd July, 2012 was another day of remembrance at Atharva Satellite Ground Station.
The Research team from Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris(IPGP),France in collaboration with IIT -B visited Atharva Satellite Ground Station in order to learn about our Ground Station and also to share details of their Ground Station.

The French team from included-
1. Mr. Pierdavide Coisson ( Professor - IPGP, France)
2. Hai Nguyen Van ( Team Member -IPGP, France)
3. Sofiaine ( Team Member – IPGP, France)
We also had two members of ‘Pratham’ Satellite team-
Tushar Jadhav.
Pushakar Godbole.

•The major topics discussed that day were complete functioning of our Ground – Station, project review taking into consideration progress made by all 3 teams.

•Different ways adopted to implement Ground- Station at IPGP- France, IIT-Bombay & Atharva Ground-Station and their benefits and limitations.

•Atharva Satellite Ground-Station team was exposed to Atmosphere & Ionosphere radio communication by Mr. Pierdavide Coisson ( Professor - IPGP, France) and Data acquisition techniques by the French team.

•Our team gave a full-fledged demonstration of satellite tracking using rotator system and different interfacing techniques.

•They appreciated the Weather –Station setup which is an additional feature to our Ground-Station.

•The French team & IIT- Bombay Satellite team acknowledged our efforts and the Ground-Station setup since ours is the only Ground-Station which is at the moment functional for ‘Pratham’.

Overall the day was one from which we learned many new things and also got to share our knowledge with others.

We hope for many such visits of research dignitaries to our ground station in the near future...

Team Ground-Station,
Atharva College Of Engineering.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Becoming Radio-Active

15th March was a big day for Atharva Satellite Ground-Station.Two years before, we the new team became a part of this project and now here we were exhibiting the grand level it has reached. 

The day began with our project overview followed by a message from Dr Gunther, Head of communication Sub-System, DICE Satellite, SDL, Utah State University; an interactive session; APRS presentation/demo; a few words by Pioneers of project Piyush Garg who was present and Varun Joshi who joined fron Ohio through the net and ended with a demonstration at the Ground-Station set-up.

Sitting amongst the many dignitaries was our principal Dr Anupama Deshpande, feeling proud of her students. For the first time we had a Scientist from Vigyan Prasar, Department of Technology, GOI, Mr Sandeep Baruah at our College- his demonstartion and presentation on APRS was the highlight of our symposium. And for us who would sit and watch Vakil sir in amazement as he lectured, watching him sit and listen to our presentation was overwhelming!

IIT-B Pratham team made their presence felt- Tushar and Pushkar stayed till the very end and left with appreciation and congratulations. And so did the many amateur radio enthusiasts present at the symposium from Sandeep sir a HAM himself (VU2MUE) to our constant support VU2IVV who demonstrated HF communication with a Five9 radio link established from Atharva to Russia, Jordon, Saudi Arabia and Germany! Also present were VU2MGB (former PhysicsHOD Bhavans college), VU2HOT,VU2CMI,VU2JOY,VU2HIT, and Neurosurgeon Dr Ashish Mehta, Mr Anand Kezecutt (Thales Aerospace) who are awaiting their ham licences to name a few! Not forgetting Satish Sinnarkar Editor of TOI and Prof Dosani.

Whew! that's one big list! But then so was the day..

Being the day Atharva Satellite Ground-Station had its first satellite contact with VO-52 , communication being established with Dehli via the Satellite, 15th March 2012 was truely an "inauguration".15th March marks the day we became radio-active. 15th March 2012 is the day that epitomises our motto...

"We Innovate Communication...
        We Communicate Innovation..."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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