Tuesday, December 4, 2018

ISRO's heaviest satellite GSAT-11 launch on Ariane-5 rocket on 5 Dec: All you need to know - Firstpost

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is scheduled to launch GSAT-11 — India’s heaviest and most powerful communication satellite yet — on an Ariane-5 rocket 5 December at 2 am IST from French New Guiana.

GSAT-11 was initially slated for 2016, later moved down to 25 May this year. Days before its launch in May, ISRO decided to recall the satellite to India to conduct further tests. This cautious call came after ISRO’s previously-launched communications satellite GSAT-6A went missing despite an evidently perfect launch from Sriharikota launchpad.

By May 2018, ISRO engineers had confirmed that there were no problems or glitches with GSAT-11, after which a new date for the satellite's third and possibly final launch on 5 December.

Hours from now, Arianespace will launch GSAT-11 into its geo-transfer orbit above India, after which the satellite will be manoeuvred into its final place in Earth's geostationary orbit using its onboard thrusters manned by ISRO engineers.

GSAT-11 in a clean room before being transported to France. Image courtesy: ISRO

GSAT-11 in a clean room before being transported to France. Image courtesy: ISRO

GSAT 11: Why is it important?

The Rs 1174-crore GSAT-11 was built to be the more capable, top-of-the-line communication satellite in ISRO's portfolio.

GSAT-11 will bring far greater speeds (16 Gbps of it, no less) and capacity to meet growing demand for mobile and internet in households, businesses, and public organisations, ISRO said in a statement.

Large parts of rural areas still remain untouched by the scope of commercial telecom today — something GSAT-11 is designed to change. Under Digital India's BharatNet project GSAT-11 will boost access to voice and video streaming in most, if not all, of rural India, ISRO said in a press release.

“With India moving fast towards implementing ‘Smart Villages and Cities’, they can be efficiently linked through a large communication satellite,” K Sivan, chairman of ISRO, said in a curtain raiser.

GSAT 11: How does it work?

GSAT-11 will use a 'multi-spot' approach to maximize its coverage area in the Indian mainland and islands — a far superior communication technology than existing INSATs and GSATs.

GSAT-11's 'multi spot' beam coverage area. Image courtesy: ISRO

GSAT-11's 'multi spot' beam coverage area. Image courtesy: ISRO

In a first for a satellite built by ISRO, GSAT-11 will carry a next-generation I-6K bus (communication satellite hub) to provide services in two widely-used wavelengths for telecommunications: the Ku- and Ka-bands. This makes GSAT-11 three to six times more powerful than any of ISRO's (and India's) satellite roster today.

It will provide up to 14 Gigabit/s in both voice and video broadband services anywhere in the Indian mainland or islands over its 15-year lifespan, according to ISRO.

The satellite has 32 Ku-band transponders and 8 Ka-band hubs on board. The Ku- and Ka-bands are different frequencies of microwaves in the electromagnetic spectrum.

GSAT 11: When is the launch?

GSAT-11 will be launched between 2.07 am and 3.23 am on 5 December, Wednesday, from Arianespace's launch pad in French Guiana.

GSAT 11: Where to watch the launch?

A live stream of the launch starting at 1.42 am IST on 5 December will be available on Arianespace's YouTube channel here, or their website here.


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