The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the GSAT-7A, a communication satellite meant primarily for military use.
The satellite will provide the Indian Air Force (IAF) the ability to interlink radar stations and bases on the ground with aircraft in the sky.
The satellite was launched by ISROs Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, on Wednesday. The 13th flight of the GLSV took off from the centre at 4.10 pm.
This is ISRO’s 17th mission and 69th rocket launch.
How GSAT-7A Will Help The Indian Air Force
The satellite will enhance the country’s air power significantly. It will enable the Indian Air Force to connect different radar systems and airbases on the ground with aircraft, including fighter jets and Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACs).
This will improve its network-centric warfare capabilities. The satellite will boost the Air Force’s ability to gather intelligence by detecting aircraft, vessels, and other vehicles in long range.
GSAT-7A will also provide a boost to drone operations and upgrade the range and flexibility of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) since these can be controlled using the satellite.
Indian Angry Bird, The GSAT-7A
The 2,250 kg operational communication satellite, GSAT-7A is the 35th Indian Communication satellite built by ISRO. It has a mission life of eight years.
Dubbed the ‘Indian Angry Bird’, GSAT-7A was launched using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk II. The rocket is almost 50 meters high and weighs approximately 414 tons. It is the rocket’s seventh flight.
The satellite spacecraft is configured on ISRO’s standard I-2000 Kg (I-2K) Bus. The satellite is built to provide communication capability to the users in Ku-band over the Indian region.
Satellites For Military Operations
Along with GSAT-7 and GSAT-6, the satellite will form the band of communications satellite for use of Indian military.
GSAT-7, known as Rukmini, launched in 2013 is already in use by the Indian Navy. The GSAT-7 provides the Indian Navy’s warships, submarines, and maritime aircraft real-time secure communication ability over the Indian Ocean region. It has a footprint of nearly 2,000 nautical miles.
Currently, India has a battery of earth-imaging CartoSAT series of satellites, RadarSAT and a Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite which provide inputs for the country’s border safety.
ISRO’s Successful Launches
Wednesday’s launch is the seventh from Sriharikota in 2018 by ISRO.
Earlier this month, GSAT-11, the most powerful ISRO satellite, was launched from the French space port of Kourou in South America.
At 5,854 kg, this is ISRO’s heaviest satellite with a mission life of 15 years. The communication satellite would provide high data rate connectivity to users through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band.
In November, ISRO had launched the GSAT-29 satellite to meet the communication needs of users in rural and remote areas of the country. This was the second development launch of the GSLV Mk III vehicle.
A high throughput communication satellite, the GSAT-29 carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders. Additionally, several new technologies such as Q/V-band payload, data transmission through optical communication link will help in the development of future advanced satellites.
(Note- All the photos have been sourced from ISRO.)