Archive for the ‘ISRO,Military & Missiles’ Category

Chandrayaan-1 lifts off successfully – Kudos to ISRO

October 22, 2008

It was truly a historic moment for the entire country. The PSLV-C11, which carries India’s first unmanned moon spacecraft Chandrayaan-1, was successfully put into initial orbit from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Wednesday morning at around 6.40 am.

At the end of the 49-hour countdown, the 44.4 meter tall four-stage PSLV-C11 blasted off from the second launch pad with the ignition of the core first stage at 6.22 am.

Large crowds had gathered at Sriharikota since early Wednesday morning to witness this historic event. The crowds cheered at the PSLV, which weighs 316 tonnes soared majestically into the skies. However, the thick black clouds played spoil sport for those waiting to watch the PSLV launch into the skies.

People who stood on the terrace of the Brahm Prakash auditorium to witness the launch managed to catch a glimpse of the vehicle only for a brief moment before it disappeared into the clouds.

However, the mood in the Satish Dhawan Space Centre where the entire Indian Space Research Organisation team behind the mission was seated was upbeat. They were emotional on seeing that the launch was a success.

ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair got up from his chair, clapping his hands, and congratulated other scientists who had ensured that the mission?s success. This is the 14th flight of ISRO’s workhorse PSLV, which has launched 29 satellites into a variety of orbits since 1993.

The launch vehicle uses larger strap-on motors to achieve higher payload capability.

The Chandrayaan-1 is carrying 11 payloads, five entirely designed and developed in India, three from European Space Agency, one from Bulgaria and two from US, which would explore the moon.

In his message soon after the launch, Madhavan Nair said this was a historic moment for India.

“The first leg has gone perfectly and today we have started a remarkable journey to the moon. We have fought all odds which include heavy rains and thunderstorms since the past four days to ensure that this mission is a success. We will complete the journey in the next 15 days.”

The other men behind the mission, who were obviously elated by the success of the launch, too spoke after the successful launch. They said phase-1 had been completed successfully and for phase-2, the next team would take over.

“We have spent sleepless nights and today our baby is on the way to the moon. Fifteen days from now, we will reach our destination and for the next two years the Chandrayaan will do its job in exploring the mysteries of the moon. We are ready for many more challenges and we must say that this has been a thrilling experience,” he said.

The 1380-kg Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft will first reach a highly elliptical Initial orbit and thereafter the satellite’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) will be fired at appropriate moments that will finally take it to an orbit at a height of 100 km around the moon around November eight.

Chandrayaan-1 carries 11 payloads (scientific instruments) — five from India, three from ESA, two from the US and one from Bulgaria. It aims to undertake remote-sensing of the moon in the visible, near infrared, microwave and X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. With this, preparation of a three-dimensional atlas of the lunar surface is envisaged.

“The mission will lead to detailed understanding of the mineralogy of the moon, and (possibility of) abundance of Helium-3 said to be a relatively clean fuel for future nuclear fusion reactors,” an ISRO official said.

“It will also throw more light on what appears to be the presence of water ice in the permanently shadowed regions of the moon’s polar areas”.

Courtesy :- Rediff

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ISRO’s reputation goes from strength to strength as it provides telecommunications services globally

July 11, 2008

Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the father of the Indian space programme, once said that there are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation.

Indeed, until recently, India never dreamed of competing with more economically-advanced nations at exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight. But the space fraternity was always confident about India’s potential in playing a meaningful role nationally and internationally, and now this confidence is bearing fruit, with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) reaching out to the global market.

ISRO satelite

ISRO satelite

About 35 years ago, ISRO was a child among space organisations. However, it’s an entirely different story today. ISRO stands high with its dedicated space research and development programmes that not only help India but also other smaller nations that cannot afford to have a space organisation of their own.

In December 2005, the Indian national satellite (INSAT)-4A was launched by Ariane-5G, the European launch vehicle of Arianespace, and is still ISRO’s latest INSAT series satellite. INSAT- 4A has 12 high-power Ku-band transponders that make it the first satellite to meet the requirements of direct-to-home (DTH) television services, and also carries12 C-band transponders to enhance the INSAT capacity for communication and television services. In September 2007, INSAT 4CR was launched, the third and the latest one in the INSAT 4 series.

The master control facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka monitors and controls INSAT-4A, and utilises the ground stations at Beijing (China), Fucino (Italy) and Lake Cowichan (Canada). The ISRO telemetry, tracking and command network (ISTRAC) ground station at Biak in Indonesia also monitors the satellite. The satellite’s orbit is precisely determined by continuous ranging from the participating ground stations.

In an interview given to the IT Examiner, ISRO scientific secretary and director, A Bhaskaranarayana, emphasised the importance of ISRO’s two satellite systems – Indian remote sensing satellite systems (IRS) and the INSAT series.

On the telecommunications front, Bhaskaranarayana says that about 210 transponders of the INSAT series of satellites were in orbit. The INSAT applications include broadcasting, communication, meteorological and developmental services such as tele-education and telemedicine. The telemedicine facility has allowed more than 30,000 schools and colleges to become connected, benefiting nearly 300,000 patients.

And there are commercial applications, too. Way back in 1992, the Department of Space (DoS) established its commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, to market and explore the Indian space programme’s products and services in the global arena.

Bhaskaranarayana says that Antrix has made the most of the IRS system and achieved global success, with a business of Rs 10 billion ($231.9 million). He claims that the IRS is the best remote sensing satellite system, with ground stations across 23 nations. The IRS provides services in establishing international ground stations (IGS) and the international reseller network to receive, process and market IRS data products and IRS image processing.

Bhaskaranarayana says that Antrix provided these services only on a commercial or civilian basis, and not for defence purposes. The defence services may use the data, he says, but Antrix doesn’t have any specific services for them.

Antrix recently launched CARTOSAT-2, which offers the facility to receive data products to international users. It has already launched a series of commercial satellites – Kitsat (Korea), Tubsat (DLR – Germany), BIRD (DLR – Germany), PROBA (Verhaert, Belgium), Lapan Tubsat (Indonesia), Pehuensat-1 (Argentina) aboard ISRO’s polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) in addition to the dedicated launch of Agile (Italy).

As for future plans, the senior official of ISRO says that remote sensing projects will continue. Keeping in mind the increasing demand of DTH services, ISRO is looking forward to increase the number of transponders from 210 to 500, enhancing internet services and data services in remote places.

The Indian telecoms industry has always owed its success to space technology. Industry players in both the public and private sectors have also played a great role behind the success of INSAT-4A. The DoS has always been the force behind the country’s successful space projects.

With third generation services (3G) knocking at Indian telecom’s door, more and more foreign and global telecom players are likely to join the booming Indian market. Advances in space sciences are vitally necessary to keep pace with the growth of the telecom sector in India, delivering enhanced satellite capacities in power and bandwidth. The DoT has benefited a lot already.

More than 550 telecommunications terminals of various sizes and capabilities are operating in the INSAT telecom network, providing 5,100 two-way speech circuits or equivalent over 166 routes. About 400 earth stations have been implemented over the last few years in the department of telecommunications (DoT) network.

Bhaskaranarayana says it isn’t in ISRO’s power to prevent the spillover of mobile signals to neighbouring countries. Concerned government authorities like the DoT have to intervene, as the development has to go hand in hand with the security of the country. He adds that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and private players have to draw out a plan to stop signals from spilling over.

The DoS has signed a number of memoranda and agreements with several nations and agencies worldwide, including an agreement with the European Space Agency. Indian space programmes stand high globally, but still have some competitors amongst those nations with dedicated space organisations. Of these, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) is notable for its management of space activities for civilian use, and is increasing its cooperation with other countries.

By the end of 2005, China had more than 80 international and domestic telecommunications and broadcasting earth stations, with 34 satellite broadcasting and TV link stations. Dozens of departments and some large corporations have established a total of around 100 satellite specialised communication networks and more than 50,000 very small aperture terminals (VSATs).

China has cooperation deals with smaller countries and agencies with Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Malaysia, Pakistan, Ukraine, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission.

Among the other nations involved in bilateral cooperation are Brazil, France, Russia and Ukraine. China and France have been involved in peaceful space exchanges and cooperation. Apart from this, nations like Russia and China have been providing services to the smaller nations, which cannot afford to have dedicated space programmes.

Courtesy :- IT Examiner