New Delhi: India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) carrying GSAT-9, is scheduled for launch on May 05, 2017. This is being dubbed as the ‘South Asia Satellite’, as it has been developed by ISRO for the SAARC region. For the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) it will be the eleventh flight, and it will be the fourth consecutive with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS). The rocket will be carrying the GSAT-9 communications satellite and an electric propulsion system.
The South Asia Satellite is a geosynchronous communications and meteorology satellite by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) region made up of eight countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
GSAT-9 is a Geostationary Communication Satellite with the objective to provide various communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South Asian countries. GSAT-9 is configured around the ISRO’s standard I-2K bus, with lift off mass of 2230 kg. The main structure of the satellite is cuboid in shape built around a central cylinder with a mission life of more than 12 years. This is primarily a communications and meteorology satellite for mapping of natural resources, telemedicine, education, disaster management etc.
GSAT-9 will carry 12 Ku-band transponders. It will weigh 2,230 kg and have a payload power of 2,300 W at the time of launch. Only the GSLV Mk-II can lift this mass to the geosynchronous orbit as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), can only take a maximum of about 1,400 kg to the same orbit. The satellite will be placed at the 48º E longitude.
The participating SAARC countries care Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka – as well as India. Each participating SAARC country will be able to use a dedicated transponder, in the 36-54 MHz range, as per their requirements. They will only have to pay for their ground stations; other costs will be borne by India. According to ISRO, GSAT-9 will enhance direct-to-home services, inter-state disaster management, telemedicine, knowledge-sharing, etc. in the region.
ISRO is experimenting with the electric propulsion system as a satellite station-keeping system, which will adjust the satellite’s position in orbit. This will enable the satellite to carry less fuel and instead carry a heavier payload.
GSLV-F09 will be launched from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota.