ISRO to Launch GSAT-6 in August for Strategic S-Band Communications Satellite: Kiran Kumar

India’s space agency ISRO will launch the most-advanced ever communications satellite for strategic purpose to use the S-Band that can connect anybody with a satellite phone anywhere in the country.

The GSAT-6 was originally designed for Devas Multimedia Services Ltd for $300 million but the government had cancelled the deal in 2011 made by ISRO arm Antrix and reserved the satellite and the S-band spectrum for its own strategic and social use.

“We will launch GSAT-6 for strategic applications in July-end or August beginning, with a special antenna that will have a capability to use a handheld device to communicate from anywhere,” Indian Space Research Organisation chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar told reporters in Bangalore on the sidelines of a seminar on World Metrology Day on Wednesday.

The three-day seminar organised by the Metrology Society of India in Bangalore on May 20 was inaugurated by the ISRO chief at the Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI).

A. S. Kiran Kumar takes over as the Secretary, Department of Space, Chairman, Space Commission and Chairman, ISRO on January 14, 2015. (PIB Photo)

A. S. Kiran Kumar takes over as the Secretary, Department of Space, Chairman, Space Commission and Chairman, ISRO on January 14, 2015. (PIB Photo)

The 2-tonne GSAT-6 will be mounted on ISRO’s workhorse GSLV Mark II to be put into a geoosynchronous orbit in August with 10 special transponders. It will be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

“The six-metre diameter antenna will be one of the scientific instruments onboard the satellite. We are making optical instruments for measurements using optimal techniques,” Kiran Kumar said. The instruments are also used in telescopes of 1.2 metre and 0.7 metre mirrors, which are useful to measure with nanometre accuracy.

The GSAT-6 project was given a go-ahead by the government in December 2004 as part of the multi-media mobile satellite system, at a cost of Rs.269 crore out of which Devas Multi Media was to give Rs.102 crore. Now that the deal was annulled, the entire cost was borne by the Indian government.

ISRO proposed the National Satellite System (GSAT-6 / INSAT-4E) to offer a Satellite Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (S-DMB) service with satellite phones and mobile video/audio receivers in vehicles. It can also provide strategic and social applications such as a platform for mobile communication applications such as demonstration of large unfurlable antenna in spacecraft, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques.

GSAT 6 was designed to have five C × S transponders each of 9 MHz bandwidth and five S × C transponders each of 2.7 MHz bandwidth, and the transponders will cover the entire country for 12 years. GSAT-6, part of the INSAT series was planned and given funds under the 10th Five-Year Plan.


Type / Application: Communication
Operator: Insat
Contractors: ISRO
Equipment: 5 C × S transponders (9 MHz bandwidth), 5 S × C transponders (2.7 MHz bandwidth)
Configuration: I-2K (I-2000) Bus
Propulsion: 440 Newton thrust liquid apogee motor
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 12 years
Mass: 2132 kg
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS   Launch Vehicle Remarks
GSat 6 (Insat 4E) 2016 Sr GSLV Mk.2

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