The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has today successfully launched the country’s newest satellite GSAT-7A from the second launch pad of Sathish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota. The comms satellite holds special significance, since it s meant for use by the Indian Air Force.

ISRO said that the 2,250-kilogram geostationary communication satellite will give a boost to the Defence forces’ communication capabilities, especially to the users in Ku-band over the Indian region. It also added that the mission life of the GSAT-7A is eight years.

The communication satellite will enable the Indian Air Force (IAF) to interlink different ground radar stations, airbases and AWACS aircrafts. It will not only interlink all airbases, but it will also boost drone operations, air force’s network-centric warfare capabilities and enhance its global operations.

Image: ISRO

The satellite consists of four solar panels capable of generating around 3.3 kilowatts of electric power. Costing around ₹500-800 crore, the satellite is configured on the standard 1-2K Bus with Bi-propellant chemical propulsion system for orbit raising and in-orbit maintenance.

GSLV-F11 will inject GSAT-7A into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and the satellite will be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit (GEO) using the onboard propulsion system. It will take few days after separation from launcher to reach its orbital slot, said ISRO.

GSLV-F11 is ISRO’s fourth generation launch vehicle with three stages. The four liquid strap-ons and a solid rocket motor at the core forms the first stage of the launch vehicle, while the second stage is equipped with high thrust engine using liquid fuel. The Cryogenic Upper Stage forms the third and final stage of the vehicle.

Notably, this is the seventh launch of 2018 from Sriharikota, which marks the 69th mission of GSLV-F11 for ISRO. Earlier, ISRO had launched the GSAT-7 satellite, also known as Rukmini, in 2013 for the Indian Navy.

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