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ISRO gets facility for satellite integration, testing

Our Bureau  |  Chennai/ Bangalore 

The (ISRO) on Monday inaugurated a fully-dedicated facility for satellite integration and The ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment (ISITE), as the facility will be known, has the capacity to integrate and test at least four satellites of the Insat class at different stages, at a time.
He said that from humble beginnings with a 1,000 sq ft of built-up area in Bangalore during the launch of Aryab hatta, to the 3,000 sq ft of sophisticated built-up area over 100 acres for the integration and in the new facility today, "It's a remarkable journey for the space fraternity."
"We are looking forward to building up at least half a dozen of satellites at a time and payback what the nation has invested in this,"
This houses four chambers for assembly, integration & test (AIT) clean room, a comprehensive assembly & test vacuum chamber (CATVAC), comprehensive assembly and test vibration facility (CATVIB) and a compact antenna test facility (CATF). The investment on the facility is so far about Rs 220 crore and ISRO plans to make a further investment of Rs 100 crore, according to official sources.
The AIT clean room which is of the size of 55x34 metre and with a height of 60 metre, has the capacity to build satellites of 6.5 metre height integrating at least 800 elements. The complete airlock chamber will have temperatures ranging from 1 degree C to 22 degree C and the cleanliness level is 1 lakh class (1 lakh particles permissible per cubic metre).
CATVAC will test the working performance and the balance The CATF is a fully-automated chamber for spacecraft and antenna testing that will ensure the increasingly travelled path of the radio frequency (RF) energy to find out if the antenna is going to cover the geographical location or not.
"This epitomises the excellence of our space programme," said National Security Adviser N K Narayanan in his inaugural address. He said that starting from a humble beginning, the space programmes had taken India to a new height. "India is now one of the few select space-faring nations to have launched satellites within a few years of our space history," he said adding that several international space agencies were now approaching ISRO for satellite contract.
He said that the facility will be helpful for more advanced satellite integration and testing. Lauding the efforts of ISRO in taking space research to a new height, the national security adviser said, "With this, I believe that there is no reason why our hopes of going to Mars cannot be achieved in coming future."

First Published: Wed, April 26 2006. 00:00 IST