Satellite scheduled for March 28 launch will provide near real-time imagery of borders, rapid monitoring of natural disasters | Latest India News


India plans to launch an Earth observation satellite on March 28 that will provide it with near real-time images of its borders and also enable rapid monitoring of natural disasters.

GISAT-1 is set to be launched into space by the GSLV-F10 rocket from Sriharikota spaceport in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, about 100 km north of Chennai.

“We are planning to launch this geographic imaging satellite on March 28, subject to weather conditions,” an official from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), headquartered in Bengaluru, told PTI on Sunday.

The rocket will place the spacecraft into a geosynchronous orbit. It will then be positioned in geostationary orbit, approximately 36,000 km above the Earth’s equator, thanks to its on-board propulsion system.

The launch of GISAT-1 aboard the GSLV-F10 rocket was originally scheduled for March 5 last year but was postponed a day before liftoff for technical reasons.

Experts said positioning the agile, state-of-the-art Earth observation satellite in geostationary orbit has key advantages. “It’s going to be a game-changer in a certain sense for India,” a space ministry official said. “With high-resolution cameras onboard, the satellite will enable the country to continuously monitor the Indian landmass and oceans, especially its borders.”

Listing the mission objectives, ISRO said earlier that the satellite would provide near real-time imagery of the wide region of interest at frequent intervals. This would help to quickly monitor natural disasters, episodic and short-term events. The third objective is to obtain spectral signatures from agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud, snow and glacier properties and oceanography.

GISAT-1 will facilitate near real-time observation of the Indian subcontinent, in cloudless conditions, at frequent intervals, ISRO said.

The planned launch of GISAT-1, weighing approximately 2,268 kg, closely follows the success of the PSLV-C51 mission on February 28 which launched the Brazilian Earth observation satellite Amazonia-1 and 18 co-passengers into orbit. , five of which were built by students.

Space Department Secretary and ISRO President K Sivan told PTI last week that the technical issues that led to the postponement of the GISAT-1 mission have been resolved and that the further delay in the launch was due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown which affected normal work.

According to sources, GISAT-1 will be followed by the maiden flight of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, ISRO’s compact launcher, likely in April.

SSLV was designed to meet “launch on demand” requirements in a cost-effective way for small satellites in dedicated and carpool mode. It is an all-solid, three-stage vehicle with the ability to launch up to 500 kg of satellite mass into 500 km Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and 300 kg into Solar Synchronous Orbit (SSO).

In comparison, PSLV – ISRO’s work launcher – can carry up to 1,750 kg payload in SSO at 600 km altitude. With a lower launch cost per kg, the mini launcher will have multiple satellite mounting options for nano, micro and small satellites.

Sivan had previously called the SSLV an innovative vehicle that could be assembled in just 72 hours. “Instead of 60 days (to build a PSLV), it (SSLV) will be assembled in three days; instead of 600 people (necessary to build a PSLV), it (SSLV) will be made by six people”, he had precise. .

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