India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 is slated for launch early tomorrow from Kourou, French Guiana using an Arianespace launch vehicle Ariane-5 VA-231, Indian Space Research Organisation said.
“GSAT-18 is scheduled to be launched early tomorrow (October 5) at 2 am (IST) from Kourou, French Guiana,” a senior ISRO official said.
Along with GSAT-18, Ariane-5 VA-231 will also put into orbit Sky Muster II for the Australian operator nbn (National Broadband Network).
ISRO said GSAT-18 is designed to provide continuity of services on operational satellites in C-band, Extended C-band and Ku-bands.
Weighing 3,404 kg at lift-off, the satellite carries 48 communication transponders to provide services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum. It also carries Ku-band beacon to help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite, ISRO said.
GSAT-18 will be launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, it said.
After its injection into GTO, ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan will take control of the satellite and perform the initial orbit raising manoeuvres using the Liquid Apogee Motor of the satellite, placing it in circular Geostationary Orbit.
Once placed into this Orbit, deployment of appendages such as the solar panels and antennas as well as three axis stabilisation of the satellite will be performed, ISRO said.
With designed in-orbit operational life of about 15 years, GSAT-18 will be positioned at 74 degrees East longitude and co-located with other operational satellites.
According to Arianespace, Sky Muster II, built by SSL (Space Systems Loral) in Palo Alto, California, is aimed at bridging the digital divide, especially in the rural and isolated regions of Australia.