Nellore: India’s 40th communication satellite, the 2,536-kg GSAT-31, was launched into space by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kouru, French Guiana, at 2.31 am IST early on Wednesday. The rocket also launched the the 6,800-kg Saudi geostationary satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 for a consortium of Saudi Arabia, Greece and Cyprus.
It will facilitate DTH services, connectivity to VSATs to operate ATMs, and stock exchanges, digital satellite news gathering and e-governance applications. The satellite will also be used for bulk data transfer for emerging telecommunication applications.
GSAT-31 derives its heritage from Isro’s Insat/GSAT series. “GSAT-31 has a unique configuration of providing flexible frequency segments and flexible coverage. The satellite will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands” Isro chairman Dr K. Sivan said.
The GSAT-31 separated from the Ariane 5 after 42 minutes of flight and launched in an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point from Earth) of 35,850 km.
The two solar arrays were automatically deployed in quick succession and Isro’s Master Control Facility at Hassan, Karnataka, took command of GSAT-31. First tests showed that the satellite was in good health. In the days ahead, scientists will undertake phase-wise orbit-raising manoeuvres to place the satellite in geostationary orbit (36,000 km above the equator) using its on-board propulsion system. The satellite will be operational after the successful completion of all in-orbit tests...