GSAT-31, India's latest communication satellite, launched successfully from French Guiana
India's latest communication satellite GSAT-31 was successfully launched by European launch services provider- Arianespace's rocket from French Guiana in the early hours today. Blasting off from Ariane Launch Complex at Kourou, a French territory located in the northeastern coast of South America, at 2:31 am (IST), the Ariane-5 vehicle injected GSAT-31 into the orbit in a flawless flight lasting about 42 minutes. Here's more.
After 42-min flight, GSAT-31 separated from Ariane-5 upper stage: ISRO
🇮🇳 #ISROMissions 🇮🇳#GSAT31 successfully launched by #Ariane5 (#VA247) from French Guiana. After a 42-min flight, GSAT-31 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage. @Arianespace pic.twitter.com/qVMm3hknSS— ISRO (@isro) February 6, 2019
ISRO took to Twitter to share the footage of lift-off
ISRO congratulates Arianespace for the successful launch
"It gives me great pleasure on the successful launch of GSAT-31 spacecraft on board Ariane-5," Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) Director S Pandian said at Kourou soon after the launch. He congratulated Arianespace for the successful launch.
Ariane also carried SGS-1 and HS-4 along with GSAT-31
The GSAT-31 is a "high power" communication-satellite with Ku-band, and it is going to serve and replace some of the satellites that are going to expire soon, Pandian said. The Ariane-5 vehicle (Flight VA247) also carried Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 (SGS-1)/Hellas Sat 4 (HS-4) along with GSAT-31. Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël expressed gratitude and said, "We appreciate the trust from our friends at ISRO."
2019 is off to a roaring start for Arianespace: Stéphane
2019 is off to a roaring start for #Arianespace! Flight #VA247, carrying Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 and GSAT-31, is a confirmed success that underscores our leadership position in the geostationary launch market. @KACST #HellasSat @ISRO @LockheedMartin pic.twitter.com/cdgfEcerfk— Stéphane Israël (@arianespaceceo) February 5, 2019
GSAT-31 is '23rd payload Arianespace has orbited for India's space-agency'
We appreciate the trust from our friends at @ISRO, whose satellites were launched on Arianespace’s last #Ariane5 mission of 2018 (GSAT-11) as well as our first in 2019 (GSAT-31). The latter spacecraft is the 23rd payload #Arianespace has orbited for India’s space agency. #VA247 pic.twitter.com/1F9FCDWa1h— Stéphane Israël (@arianespaceceo) February 5, 2019
GSAT-31 separated from Ariane-5 in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit
GSAT-31 separated from the Ariane-5 in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,850 km, inclined at an angle of 3.0 degree to the equator, ISRO said after the launch. After separation from Ariane-5, the two solar arrays of GSAT-31 were automatically deployed in quick succession.
Scientist will soon place satellite in Geostationary Orbit
After the solar arrays were automatically deployed, ISRO's Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-31 and found its health parameters normal, said ISRO in a release. In the days ahead, scientists will undertake phase-wise orbit-raising maneuvers to place the satellite in Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) using its onboard propulsion system.
Satellite will become operational after completion of all in-orbit tests
During the final stages of its orbit raising operations, the antenna reflector of GSAT-31 will be deployed, and following this, the satellite will be put in its final orbital configuration, ISRO said. It said the satellite will be operational after the successful completion of all in-orbit tests. Weighing about 2,536 kg, GSAT-31, will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites.
GSAT-31 is India's 40th communication satellite
The satellite derives its heritage from ISRO's earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series, the space agency said, adding that it will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands. GSAT-31 is the country's 40th communication satellite which is configured on ISRO's enhanced 'I-2K Bus', utilizing the maximum "bus capabilities" of this type. This satellite will augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit, ISRO said.
Satellite to facilitate communication over Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal
With a mission life of around 15 years, GSAT-31 will be used for supporting VSAT networks, Television uplinks, Digital Satellite News Gathering, DTH-television services, cellular backhaul connectivity, and many such applications. It will also provide wide beam coverage to facilitate communication over a large oceanic region, comprising large parts of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, using a wideband transponder.
GSAT-31 to provide DTH Television services, connectivity to VSATs
According to ISRO, two Ku-band beacon downlink signals are transmitted by the satellite for ground tracking purpose. "GSAT-31 has a unique configuration of providing flexible frequency segments and flexible coverage," ISRO chairman K Sivan said. "GSAT-31 will provide DTH Television Services, connectivity to VSATs for ATM, Stock-exchange, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and e-governance applications," he said in a release.
HS-4/SGS-1 was released first in the flight sequence
Sivan said the satellite will also be used for bulk data-transfer for a host of emerging telecommunication-applications. Riding in Ariane-5's upper position, HS-4/SGS-1 was released first in the flight sequence, with its separation occurring about 27 minutes after lift-off. Comprising two payloads, HS- 4/SGS-1 is a geostationary condosat for KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology Saudi Arabia) and Hellas Sat (Greece Cyprus).
ISRO will be launching GSAT-30 from French-Guiana in June, July
HS-4/SGS-1 will provide telecommunication capabilities, including television, Internet, telephone and secure communications in the Middle East, South Africa and Europe, Arianespace said on its website. GSAT-30 is another geostationary satellite to be lofted soon by Arianespace for ISRO. "Soon we will be getting back to French Guiana sometime in June, July to launch GSAT-30," said the SDSC Director.