Indian rocket to fly with defence satellite

Sriharikota: All is set for the lift-off of a new variant of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from here on Monday, carrying electronic intelligence satellite, Emisat for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and 28 other third-party satellites.

About 17 minutes after the take-off at 9.27 a.m., the rocket would eject the 436 kg Emisat into a 749 km orbit.

“There is an increased demand for satellites from strategic sectors. About six orseven satellites are planned to be built,” a senior official on the condition of anonymity told IANS.

India will also launch two more defence satellites sometime in July or August with its new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) rocket.

After putting the Emisat into orbit, the rocket will be brought down to put the 28 foreign satellites — 24 from the US, two from Lithuania and one each from Spain and Switzerland — in orbit at an altitude of 504 km.

The 28 satellites will weigh about 220 kg

Once that happens, India would have successfully lifted and put into orbit 297 foreign satellites till date.

This will be followed by bringing the rocket down further to 485 km when the fourth stage/engine will turn into a payload platform carrying three experimental payloads: (a) Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO for Maritime satellite applications capturing messages transmitted from ships (b) Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation), India – to assist amateur radio operators in tracking and monitoring position data and (c) Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) – for the structural and compositional studies of ionosphere, the space agency said.

The whole mission will take about 180 minutes from the rocket’s lift off time of 9.27 a.m.

The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel. In its normal configuration, the rocket will have six strap-on motors hugging it’s first stage.

But the 44.5 metre tall rocket that will lift off on Monday, has four strap-on motors and its configuration is designated as PSLV-QL.

On January 24, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) flew a PSLV with two strap-on motors while in March, it had four strap-on motors.

The space agency also has two more PSLV variants — Core Alone (without any strap-on motors) and the larger PSLV-XL.