New satellite GSAT-17 to boost ISRO capacity

GSAT-17 is scheduled to be launched on June 29, 2017 at 2:29 a.m. by Ariane-5 launch vehicle from French Guiana.

GSAT-17 is scheduled to be launched on June 29, 2017 at 2:29 a.m. by Ariane-5 launch vehicle from French Guiana.   | Photo Credit:

GSAT-17, the country's newest communication satellite set to be launched on Thursday morning, is set to add capacity to the current fleet of 17 Indian communication satellites that are already serving from space.

The 3,477-kg spacecraft is to be launched at 2.29 a.m. [a.m.] IST on June 29 from the European space port of Kourou in French Guiana. An Ariane-5 ECA rocket is putting it in orbit along with a heavier co-passenger, Hellas Sat 3 - Inmarsat S EAN, according to ISRO and the European launch company Arianespace. Locally, it is a pre-dusk launch in the South American space port.

"GSAT-17 is designed to provide continuity of services of operational satellites in C, extended C and S bands," an ISRO communique said. ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar has said a few times that they need double the number of communication spacecraft to meet the growing demands of various users across the country.

Built mainly for broadcasting and telephone services, GSAT-17 is similar to the 48-transponder GSAT-18 - launched by Arianespace last October. The spacecraft carries equipment to aid meteorology and search and rescue operations primarily over the Indian sub-continent.

Designed and assembled at the ISRO Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, GSAT-17 has been at the Kourou space port since May 15, undergoing pre-launch checks and tests. A team of 20-30 ISRO engineers has been attending to it on a rotation basis during the period.

After injection into GTO, its operations will be taken over by the team at MCF, the orbit will gradually raised and circularised to 36,000 km distance from Earth. The various functional appendages such as antennas and solar arrays will be deployed and the satellite stabilised over 93.5 degrees East longitude, according to the two agencies.

ISRO does not yet have a launcher that can lift payloads above 2,000 kg. IT has just started testing the GSLV-Mark III for this. As such it has been buying space rides on the European Ariane vehicles.

Arianespace said this was its 21st Indian launch since the APPLE experimental satellite in 1981. ISRO's upcoming 5,000-kg-plus heavy satellite, GSAT-11, will also be launched by Arianespace.

GSAT-17's co-passenger has two operators. Hellas Sat 3 provides direct to home television and telecom services across Europe, West Asia and South Africa. Inmarsat will provide inflight Internet facilities for European airlines, as signified in the satellite's tag EAN or European Aviation Network.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 7:36:51 PM |

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