India's heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 put into orbit
Chennai: India’s heaviest and most powerful communication satellite GSAT-11 has been launched by Ariane-5 rocket of Arianespace from French Guiana on Wednesday. Weighing about 5,854 kg, GSAT-11 is the heaviest satellite built by ISRO.
GSAT-11 is the fore-runner in the series of advanced communication satellites with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and Islands.
“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 K. Sivan was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The Bharat Net Project aims to enhance the public welfare schemes like e-banking, e-health, e-governance among others.
He said that GSAT-11 will act as a forerunner to all future high throughput communication satellites.
“Today’s successful mission has boosted the confidence of the entire team,” Sivan added.
According to ISRO, GSAT-11 will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country. It will also provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications.
The satellite with a mission life of 15 years will have 32 user beams (Ku band) and eight hub beams (Ka band) and the throughput data rate of 16 Gbps.
The Indian space agency said that the GSAT-11 will be used to meet the increased data demands with high data rates over regions using spot beams.
The satellite will support VSAT terminals and for enterprise network and consumer broadband applications.
After the GSAT-11 was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan took over the satellite’s control to raise the orbit to a circular Geostationary Orbit, ISRO said.
It was a dual launch for Arianespace as its heavy lift Ariane 5 rocket also put into orbit Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellite.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to two very special partners since the beginning of their space ambitions: ISRO and KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute,” said Arianespace CEO Stephane Israel in post-launch comments from the Kourou Spaceport.
Israel noted that GSAT-11 was the 22nd ISRO satellite orbited by Arianespace and Ariane-series launchers, tracing the relationship back to India’s APPLE small experimental communications spacecraft, which had a liftoff mass of 670-kg. and was lofted in 1981 by an Ariane 1 version.
During its 33 minutes mission, the Ariane 5 rocket deployed first the GSAT-11. For Arianespace this was its 10th mission in 2018.