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India's heaviest satellite GSAT-11 launched from French Guiana: ESA

GSAT-11 would play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country

T E Narasimhan 

The sixth #Ariane5 launch this year has delivered the GSAT-11 and Geo-Kompsat-2A satellites into their planned orbits after liftoff from Europe's Spaceport at 20:37 GMT. Photo: @ESA
The sixth #Ariane5 launch this year has delivered the GSAT-11 and Geo-Kompsat-2A satellites into their planned orbits after liftoff from Europe's Spaceport at 20:37 GMT. Photo: @ESA

GSAT-11, the heaviest satellite built by (Indian Research Organization), was launched successfully early on Wednesday morning according to a tweet by the European State Agency.

The satellite was onboard Ariane-5 VA246, which blasted off from Kourou Launch Zone in French Guiana at 20:37 GMT. The 5,854-kg satellite, almost double the biggest one built or launched by till date, was launched aboard the European launch vehicle Ariane 5 ECA.

The heavy-duty Ariane-5 vehicle was also carrying GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

Once this big bird is in the and starts operations, satellite-based broadband will become a reality in India. Besides, it will also significantly contribute towards bridging the divide between digital urban and rural India and will enable the next generation application such as in-flight connectivity, says Currently, India has nearly 450 million internet users.

GSAT-11 would play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country and provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications, Isro said.

“GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programme,” ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said. The Bharat Net Project aims to enhance the public welfare schemes like e-banking, e-health, e-governance among others.

He said GSAT-11 will act as a forerunner to all future high throughput communication satellites. “Today’s successful mission has boost confidence of the entire team,” Sivan added.

GSAT-11 is a 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 to be launched on May 25, but Isro rescheduled the launch citing the need for additional technical checks.

The satellite would be placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. It will be subsequently raised to the Geostationary Orbit by firing the Liquid Apogee Motor onboard the satellite.

GSAT-11 is to be located at 74 degrees East and is the fore-runner in a series of advanced communications satellite with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and islands, said Isro.

The next generation satellite is going to help ramp up internet speeds. It carries 40 transponders in the Ku-band and Ka-band frequencies and is capable of providing high bandwidth connectivity with up to 14 gigabits per second (GBPS) data transfer speed.

GSAT-11 is a part of Isro’s high-throughput communication satellite (HTS) fleet that would drive internet broadband penetration to India's remote areas. The broadband network is now ruled by underground fibre. Of the four high-throughput satellites, two -- GSAT-19 and GSAT-29 -- have already been launched. GSAT-20 is scheduled to be launched next year.

All these satellites would provide high-speed internet connectivity in the country, especially in rural areas and would help the Digital India initiative, BharatNet for rural e-governance, and commercial and public sector VSAT internet service providers.

Isro officials have said these satellites would help provide high-speed internet services at the rate of 100 Gbps (Gigabits per second) to Indian users. Isro 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 the Ka bands — would deliver an improved service over the Indian mainland and nearby islands.

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 03:48 IST
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