The countdown for the launch of GSAT-11, the heaviest satellite built by Indian space agency Isro, has commenced.
The countdown began at 13:14 (IST) for the launch of GSAT-11 on-board Ariane-5 VA246 from Kourou Launch Zone, French Guiana, on Tuesday. The launch is scheduled at 02:07 (IST) on December 5, 2018.
The 5,854-kg satellite, almost double the biggest one built or launched by Isro to date, will be launched on European launch vehicle Ariane 5 ECA. The heavy-lift Ariane-5 vehicle would carry GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), along with GSAT-11.
The satellite will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country apart from providing a platform to demonstrate new generation applications, Isro said.
GSAT-11 is the next generation high throughput communication satellite configured around ISRO's I-6K Bus, and its designed lifetime is more than 15 years.
It was initially planned for launch on May 25 and was rescheduled by ISRO, citing the need for additional technical checks, said Isro sources.
The satellite would be initially placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and subsequently be raised to Geostationary Orbit by firing the Liquid Apogee Motor on-board the satellite. GSAT-11 would be located at 74 East and is the fore-runner in a series of advanced communications satellite with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and Islands, ISRO said.
GSAT-11 to speed up internet
GSAT-11 is a high-throughput satellite that carries 40 transponders in the Ku-band and Ka-band frequencies and is capable of "providing high bandwidth connectivity" with up to 14 gigabit per second (GBPS) data transfer speed. The satellite's designed lifetime is more than 15 years.
GSAT-11 is part of ISRO’s high-throughput communication satellite (HTS) fleet that will drive India's Internet broadband from space to remote areas; the broadband domain is now ruled by underground fibre and covers partial and convenient locations.
Of the four high-throughput satellites, two -- Gsat-19 and Gsat-29 -- have already been launched. GSAT-11 launched on Wednesday and GSAT-20 launch has been scheduled next year.
All these satellites will provide high-speed internet connectivity in the country, especially in rural areas and would help Digital India, BharathNet for rural e-governance, and commercial and public sector VSAT Net service providers.
Isro officials have said all these would provide high-speed Internet data services at the rate of 100 Gbps (Gigabits per second) to Indian users. ISRO has earlier said this speed would be far better than what is available in India now.
According to ISRO, GSAT-11’s multiple spot beam coverage — 32 in Ku band and eight in Ka bands — will deliver an improved service of 16 gbps over the Indian region and nearby islands.