india's heaviest satellite is ready for launch tomorrow
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
move your mouse over the image to see full size image
India’s heaviest satellite, Gsat-11, is set for lift-off on a European Space Agency rocket from French Guiana early on December 5. TOI explains why the satellite can be a game-changer for internet connectivity in the country…
HEAVYWEIGHT SATELLITE WILL BRING HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ::
Weighing 5,800kg, the geostationary satellite will orbit at 36,000 km above the Earth’s surface. Satellite is so massive that each solar panel is over four metres long, the length of a standard sedan. It carries 40 transponders in Ku-band and Ka-band frequencies, which are capable of “providing high bandwidth connectivity” with up to 14 gigabits/second data transfer speed.
NARROW BEAM FOR STRONGER SIGNALS ::
Gsat-11 is a high-throughput communication satellite meant to provide multi-spot beam coverage over India’s mainland and nearby islands. The satellite is special as it uses multiple spot beams (a special kind of transponder that operates on a high frequency) that will increase internet speed and connectivity. A spot beam is a satellite signal that is specially concentrated so that it covers only a limited geographical area. The narrower the beam greater the power.
The satellite will reuse beams (signals) several times in order to cover the entire country. In contrast, a traditional satellite like Insat uses a broad single beam, which is not powerful enough to cover wide regions.
FOUR SATELLITES TO USHER IN AN INTERNET REVOLUTION ::
Gsat 11 is set to be launched on December 5 at around 2.08 am IST, there is another satellite Gsat-20 which is to be launched next year on the Earth’s surface. Says K Sivan, chairman, ISRO, "Launch of four high-throughput satellites (Gsats 19, 29, 11, 20) will provide the country broadband connectivity of over 100 gigabits per second by 2019." Of the four, two satellites Gsat-19 and Gsat-29 have already been launched.
ISRO DIDN'T WANT REPEAT OF Gsat-6A ::
Gsat-11 was initially scheduled for a March-April launch. However, after the failed mission of Gsat-6A satellite in April, ISRO recalled it from French Guiana. The agency suspected that a glitch in the electrical circuit could have been behind the signal loss from Gsat-6A, which was launched on March 29. Fearing Gsat-11 would meet the same fate, Isro recalled the rocket to check for anomalies. But after a series of tests, it found that all systems were working fine.
EUROPEAN ROCKET FOR A 5-TONNE PAYLOAD ::
Isro’s heavylifting rocket GSLV III can carry up to four tonnes. Beyond the four tonne capacity, all heavier Isro payloads are launched by European spaceport in French Guiana. Isro is in talks with Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, to launch its heavier satellites. The agency is also working to increase the lifting capability of its GSLV III launcher.