Indian satellite placed in geosynchronous orbit
Bangalore: India's heaviest communication satellite (GSAT-10) was Wednesday placed in the geosynchronous orbit, about 36,000 km above the earth, the Indian space agency said.
"The 3.4-tonne satellite was placed in the geosynchronous orbit at 35,734 km apogee (farthest from earth) and 35,585 km perigee (nearest to earth) through the third and final orbit-raising exercise," the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.
The orbit-raising manueouveres were carried from the master control facility (MCF) of the space agency at Hassan in Karnataka, about 180 km from Bangalore.
The orbital period of the satellite will be 23 hours and 50 minutes.
"The MCF has also deployed the spacecraft's two solar panels and two reflector antennas after it reached the final orbit at 70.18 east longitude," ISRO said.
The satellite will soon be moved towards its designated location of 83 degrees east for conducting its communication and navigation payloads (instruments)," it said.
GSAT-10 was launched Sep 29 on board the Ariane-V rocket of the European Space Agency (Arianespace) from its Kourou spaceport in French Guiana and injected into an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit 30 minutes after a smooth lift-off.
The MCF took over the command of the satellite after its injection into the orbit for monitoring its health and the subsequent orbit-raising exercise, which began early Sunday.
GSAT-10 has 30 transponders, including 12 in normal C-band, six in lower extended C-band and 12 Ku-band and a GPS (global positioning system) aided Geo augmented navigation (Gagan) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands.
As a two-way device, a transponder receives signals over a range of uplink frequencies and re-transmits them on a different set of downlink frequencies to receivers on earth without changing the content (voice, data or pictures) of the received signals.
The cost of the GSAT-10, including its launch and insurance, is Rs.750 crore ($136 million).
GSAT-10 will augment the communication transponders' capacity to 198 from 168 in the Indian satellite (INSAT) system.
Incidentally, GSAT-10 is the second satellite after GSAT-8 to carry the Gagan payload for providing navigation services to airlines and ships.
The Ku-band transponder will also help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
With a 15-year life span, GSAT-10 will be positioned at 83 degree east orbital location along with INSAT-4A and GSAT-12.