Ending year with cheer

After scripting back-to-back success stories in space with successful launches in the recent weeks, ISRO has made another crucial announcement, that it would launch GSAT 7A, a military communication satellite for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Navy, 19 December with its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk II) rocket. Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to end the year with a bang and this is no doubt a moment of pride for all citizens of the country. According to ISRO, its GSLV rocket will launch the 2,250-kg communication satellite, GSAT-7A from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota.

The features of the mission are interesting. The communication satellite will be placed in geostationary orbit and is expected to help the IAF interlink different ground radar stations, airbases and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft. The satellite will also enhance network-centric warfare capabilities of the Indian Air Force and, therefore, improve its operations. GSAT-7A is also expected to give a major push for drone operations as it would help the Navy reduce its reliance on on-ground control stations and take satellite-control of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which should help boost the range and endurance of the UAVs, said industry experts.

If one is to track the history, the GSAT-7 series was launched in 2013 as a dedicated communications satellite for the Indian Navy, which made the Navy completely independent of relying on foreign satellites. And GSAT-7A is the 35th Indian communication satellite built by ISRO. It is built to provide communication capability to users in Ku-band over the Indian region. Let us wish our scientists at ISRO all success in their latest mission and in future endeavours.

NT Bureau