ISRO’s GSAT-30 satellite launched, to replace ageing INSAT-4A

A view of GSAT30 communication satellite. File photo.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The nation's latest communication satellite, GSAT-30, was sent to space from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou at 2:35 a.m. IST on Friday.

The 3,357-kg satellite will replace INSAT-4A which was launched in 2005 and marks the first mission of the year for Indian Space Research Organisation.

The high-power satellite is equipped with 12 normal C band and 12 Ku band transponders.

ISRO quoted its Chairman K. Sivan as saying, “GSAT-30 will provide DTH (direct to home) television services, connectivity to VSATs (that support working of banks') ATMs, stock exchange, television uplinking and teleport services, digital satellite news gathering and e-governance applications. The satellite will also be used for bulk data transfer for a host of emerging telecommunication applications.”

He said its unique configuration provides flexible frequency segments and flexible coverage. "The satellite will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands through the Ku band and wide coverage over Gulf countries, a large number of Asian countries and Australia through the C band.”

P. Kunhikrishnan, Director of the U.R.Rao Satellite Centre, was at Kourou for the launch.

In a flight lasting over 38 minutes, European Ariane-5 space vehicle VA-251 released GSAT-30 in an initial elliptical geosynchronous orbit. The ISRO Master Control Facility picked up its signals immediately and found its systems healthy.

Over the coming weeks MCF engineers will gradually adjust it into a final circular orbit 36,000 km from earth and apparently fixed at 83° East longitude over the country.

Foreign launch

ISRO hired a foreign launcher as GSAT-30 is much heavier than the 2,000-kg lifting capacity of its geostationary launch vehicle GSLV-MkII.

As for the newer and more powerful GSLV-MkIII that can lift up to 4,000 kg, the space agency plans to save the two or three upcoming MkIIIs mainly for its first human space flight Gaganyaan of 2022 and two preceding crew-less trials, Dr. Sivan recently said. The first Indian crew-less test flight is planned later this year.

Mr.Kunhikrishnan said in a pre-launch video that GSAT-30 was built to last 15 years through the 2030s. It was realised using new and advanced technologies.

ISRO in recent years has been taking the support of a cluster of mid-sized industries to speed up building routine spacecraft at its premises.

A consortium led by Alpha Design Technologies Ltd. assembled GSAT-30 at the ISRO Satellite Integration & Test Establishment in Bengaluru, Alpha's CMD Colonel (retd.) H.S.Shankar said. This group has also worked on the earlier IRNSS-1H and 1I [ONE EYE] navigation satellites.

Arianespace, the European launch service operator, said it has now sent 24 Indian communication satellites to orbit over the last 30 years; the APPLE experimental satellite of 1981 was its first Indian contract. It last launched another replacement satellite, GSAT-31, in February 2019.

A European communication satellite called EUTELSAT KONNECT was the co-passenger of GSAT-30.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 7:10:06 AM |

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