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ISRO plans to launch 10 satellites in four years

Staff Reporter

A Rs. 3,000-crore investment will facilitate telecom, broadcasting and meteorological services; Cartosat launch next year


  • About 250 transponders planned by 2007
  • `C' frequency band to cater for 100 educational networks
  • More than one lakh people have benefited from ISRO's telemedicine project
  • No penalty clause in the agreement with Arianespace for delay in INSAT 4A launch



    TALKING TECHNOLOGY: ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair greets CEO-SUIRG Bob Ames at the inauguration of Satellite Users' Interference Reduction Group meeting in Bangalore on Tuesday. Looking on are SUIRG Chairman R. James Budden and Director, Master Control Facility M.Y.S. Prasad. — Photo: K. Gopinathan

    BANGALORE: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to launch 10 or 12 satellites into the geostationary orbit in four years, Chairman G. Madhavan Nair said on Tuesday.

    A Rs. 3,000-crore investment in these satellites would increase the "on orbit" transponder capacity to facilitate telecommunication, broadcasting, VSAT and meteorological services. "Cartosat will be launched early next year."

    Dr. Nair was inaugurating the Satellite Users' Interference Reduction Group 2005 Meeting here.

    The communication system under the Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) consists of eight satellites and 144 communication transponders in the `C', `Ext.C', `Ku' and `S' frequency bands. The INSAT satellite networks facilitate about 20 per cent of financial transactions in the country.

    "We also have two satellites [of a total of eight] carrying meteorological payloads. One satellite is for meteorological purposes," Dr. Nair said.

    About 250 transponders (at Rs. 300 crores each) were planned by 2007. The demand for transponders from the direct-to-home and VSAT sectors was going up. Some old satellites had to be replaced.

    About 25 communication satellites were being put in the orbit every year, and they contributed a global revenue of about $100 billion. The growth of satellite-enabled services in Asia-Pacific attracted major satellite operators to the region, Dr. Nair said.

    The `C' frequency band, for educational needs (EDUSAT), would cater for about 100 networks, each serving 500 nodes located in primary schools, colleges and distance education classrooms. "The ISRO's telemedicine projects have helped to connect 88 districts and rural hospitals with 27 superspeciality hospitals, and more than one lakh people have benefited."

    Dr. Nair said the ISRO would not incur losses because of the delay in the launch of the fourth generation communication satellite, INSAT 4A.

    Addressing presspersons later, he said the ISRO's commercial interest was protected. There was no penalty clause in the agreement with Arianespace for the delay.

    Waiting since June

    The satellite had been waiting for transhipment to Kourou, French Guiana, for launch by an Ariane launcher since June. Carrying 24 transponders, 12 each on the `Ku' and `C' Bands, INSAT 4A would be launched in December. Before that Ariane would have two other launches.

    This year the ISRO planned the launch of INSAT 4B with the same configuration as INSAT 4A but there would be delay.

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