ISRO launches GSAT-7A: All about Indian space agency’s new communication satellite

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Updated: December 19, 2018 4:21:04 PM

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is scheduled to launch the GSAT-7A communication satellite, with a shelf life of eight years, on Wednesday - All you need to know.

ISRO begins countdown for GSAT-7A launch (Twitter/ ISRO)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the GSAT-7A communication satellite, with a shelf life of eight years, on Wednesday. It will be an exclusive satellite to be used by the Indian Air Force and add on to their air power. The satellite has been scheduled to take off from the Sriharikota launch pad on GSLV-F11 rocket, on 4:10 pm today.

The satellite that costs around Rs 500-800 crore, will be using Ku-band to disseminate signals, which can be captured by smaller antennas and will be less vulnerable to weather changes and atmospheric disturbances.

This satellite will strengthen connectivity within the Indian Air Force by linking its airbases, ground radar stations and Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) in aircraft, reported TOI. Not just that, it will also affect the drone operations of the IAF as the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), that were till date controlled by the ground station will now be controlled via the satellite launched.

This, in turn, will increase the range and flexibility of the UAVs that IAF already own, and the armed Predator-B or Sea Guardian drones that it is about to acquire from America.

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GSAT-7 also known as Rukmini was launched by ISRO for the Indian Naval Forces in 2013. This dedicated satellite for Navy monitors the Indian Ocean Region and provides real-time data to all the Indian submarines, warships and aircraft. Another satellite GSAT-7C will also likely be launched by ISRO, for the IAF in the next few years, to boost its connectivity issues.

India now possesses as many as 13 military satellites, that help the armed forces with better surveillance, communication and navigation. The launch of GSAT-7A will be the seventh launch from Sriharikota launchpad this year and the 69th by its carrier vehicle GSLV-F11, one of the most powerful rockets that ISRO has.

Earlier in November, the Indian space agency launched its heaviest satellite GSAT-29, a communication satellite weighing 3423 kg, aiming to provide high-speed internet connectivity in the rural areas of India.

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