All systems go for ISRO's new satellite

The Technology Experiment Satellite (TES), launched on 22 October by ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C3) from Sriharikota in southern India, is functioning well, according to the space research agency.

Tests on various subsystems like telemetry, command and power have been completed. The Satellite Positioning System (SPS), which helps in accurate determination of the satellite's location, has also been tested. The data handling systems will be tested in the coming days before the camera payload on board is turned on, an official release says.

The satellite is being monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre (SCC) of ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore along with its network of stations at Lucknow, Mauritius and Bearslake in Russia. The two other satellites, PROBA of Belgium and BIRD of Germany, which were launched by PSLV along with India's TES, are also reported to be functioning well.

In a previous launch in May 1999, PSLV had launched Indian IRS-P4, German DLR-TUBSAT and Korean KITSAT-3. While TES and BIRD will be placed in a 568 km sun-synchronous orbit, the third satellite, PROBA, will be placed in an elliptical orbit of 568 x 638 km, which will be achieved by firing the Reaction Control Thrusters of the fourth stage of PSLV-C3.

The TES, weighing 1108 kg, is an experimental satellite to demonstrate and validate, in orbit, technologies that could be used in the future satellites of ISRO. Some of the technologies that are planned to be demonstrated in TES are altitude and orbit control system, high torque reaction wheels, new reaction control system with optimised thrusters and a single propellant tank, light weight spacecraft structure, solid state recorder, X-band phased array antenna, improved satellite positioning system, miniaturised TTC and power system and, two-mirror-on-axis camera optics. TES also carries a panchromatic camera for remote sensing experiments.

PSLV places three satellites in orbit

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