7 Dec 2005
By Vijesh Kamath
DH News Service Bangalore:
The year 2006 will witness the first ever launch of an Insat series satellite from home soil. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch Insat-4D by the indigenous developed Geo-synchronous Satellite….
The year 2006 will witness the first ever launch of an Insat series satellite from home soil. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch Insat-4D by the indigenous developed Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in the Sriharikota Range during the latter half of next year.
India has always depended upon outside agencies to launch satellites weighing more than two tonnes like the Insat class communication satellites into geostationary orbit 36,000 kms from Earth. Now, having tested GSLV capabilities by successfully hurling three experimental satellites (GSAT-1 to 3) into space, ISRO is planning to commission the vehicle after its fourth flight, sources told Deccan Herald. Insat-4A (scheduled to be launched by European Space consortium Arianespace from French Guyana in South America on December 22 this year) and Insat-4B (scheduled for launch during first half of 2006 again by Arianespace) will probably be the last two Insat series satellites which will be outsourced for launch, the sources said. Insat-4C has been scheduled for launch only in 2007.
Unlike its predecessors, Insat-4A, 4B and 4D will have exclusive communication payloads. While Insat-4A and 4B satellites will carry 12 high power ku-band transponders, each capable of providing services like Direct to Home (DTH) and VSAT, Insat-4D will be an exclusive C-band satellite. Ku-band communication has the advantage that smaller satellite dishes can be used, lowering the cost of the satellite terminals. The Ku-band transponders are expected to meet the growing demand for VSATs, capable of providing highly-reliable point-to-point communications, like two-way video conferencing, especially for business communications. The C-band transponders on Insat-4D will provide wide-area communication beam covering the entire length and breadth of the country. It also has an advantage of being less sensitive to severe weather conditions.
Also scheduled for launch next year is Cartosat-2. The second in the cartosat series, the satellite will be capable of providing scene specific imageries for mapping applications. The panchromatic camera onboard the satellite will provide resolution of less than one metre. The satellite will be capable of distinguishing objects less than one metre apart from space.