ISRO to launch 14 communication satellites to meet transponder crunch

Faced with a massive demand for transponders, India plans to launch 14 communication satellites by 2017.

Updated: Oct 06, 2012, 19:28 PM IST

Bangalore: Faced with a massive demand for transponders, India plans to launch 14 communication satellites by 2017.

The Department of Space (DoS) has projected demand for 794 transponders in the 12th plan (2012-2017) from the operational transponder capacity of 187 from INSAT-GSAT satellites as of March-end this year.

These proposed 14 spacecraft, including high power S-band satellite for mobile communications and new generation geo-imaging satellite, are aimed at increasing the transponder capacity and introducing new generation broadband VSAT systems and Ka band systems.

These satellites would bridge the gap between the demand and supply of the transponders to meet all the requirements of the country and also to maintain sufficient spares capacity to meet contingencies, sources in Indian Space Research Organisation, R&D wing of the Department of Space, said.

"Maintaining and securing sufficient orbit-spectrum resources for country?s Satcom activities will be a thrust area of the 12th Plan", an ISRO official said, quoting the 12th plan proposals of DoS. "It has been planned to pursue rigorously to secure spectrum for 100 additional Ku-band transponders and around 50 C-band/Ext C-band transponders in newer orbital locations".

During the 12th Plan period, 16 PSLV missions, six GSLV MK-II missions and two GSLV MK-III missions (including one experimental mission) are planned to be accomplished.

In addition, initiatives such as new satcom policy, space legislation and space navigation policy are proposed to be put in place to facilitate the growth and development of space science and technology in the country.

"Overall, 58 missions are planned for realisation during 12th Plan period -- 33 Satellite missions and 25 launch vehicle missions", according to Bangalore-headquartered ISRO.

A few specialised technical facilities for supporting the development, fabrication, integration and testing of the satellite systems and launch vehicles systems as well as launch and mission management have been planned during the five-year period.

The critical facilities considered include establishment of the third launch pad at Sriharikota to support increased launch frequency of PSLV and GSLV, multiple object tracking radar for tracking the space debris to safeguard India`s space assets, second vehicle assembly building to improve the launch turn around, and second cryogenic main engine and stage test facility at LMF, Mahendragiri.

In addition, solar cell production facility to minimise the dependency for solar cell from foreign sources and setting up of space technology parks at different locations to facilitate industry participation in Indian space programme are also planned.

It was noted that the Steering Committee on S&T constituted by Planning Commission has recommended allocation of Rs 47,500 crore plan outlay of 12th Plan programmes of DoS. The non-plan budget in the 12th Plan is expected to be Rs 7,500 crore. With this, total outlay for 12th Plan would be Rs 55,000 crore.