Isro's Master Control Facility (MCF) in Hassan, Karnataka, directed
the satellite's first critical orbit raising manoeuvre at 7 am (IST)
this morning. Insat 3-A's 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) was
fired for 73 minutes 42 seconds, raising the satellite's perigee
(closest point to the earth) 860 km at the time of launch to 11,500
km at present. The apogee remains at 36,000 km and the inclination
of the orbit with respect to the equatorial plane has been reduced
from 2 deg. at the time of launch to the present 0.9 deg. The orbital
period is 14 hours 30 minutes.
Insat-3A, which was launched by Ariane-5 of Arianespace yesterday
from Kourou, French Guiana, had gone out of visibility of MCF, Hassan,
at 3.20 pm yesterday and came within its visibility at 2.16 am IST
Ariane5 lifts off from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana
early Thursday (IST), 10 April 2003.
According to Isro, all systems on board the satellite were functioning
normally. The satellite was scheduled to go out of MCF visibility
again at about 1.44 pm IST this afternoon and come within its visibility
at 7 am tomorrow. The second orbit manoeuvre is planned around 1
Insat-3A is being tracked, monitored and controlled from MCF. During
the initial phase of Insat-3A operations, MCF also utilises Inmarsat's
ground stations at Beijing (China), Fucino (Italy) and Lake Cowichan
(Canada). The satellite's orbit is being precisely determined by
continuous ranging from the participating Telemetry, Tracking and
Command (TTC) ground stations.
MCF is responsible for initial and in-orbit operation of all Isro's
President, PM hail succesful Insat-3A launch
Indian President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Atal
Behari Vajpayee and minister of state (space) SB Mookherjee, have
congratulated Isro on the successful launch of Insat-3A.
They conveyed their messages to Isro chairman Dr K Kasturirangan
at the launch site in Kourou French Guiana, over the phone.
Minister of state (space) SB Mookherjee made a statement regarding
Insat-3A's successful launch in both the houses of Parliament yesterday.
The Parliament joined him in wishing the Isro team the best in the
complex mission that is to be carried out in the next few days from
the MCF at Hassan.
As Ariane-5 carried out its mission, ISRO Chairman Dr K Kasturirangan
and other top space scientists, including project director RK Rajangam,
who were present at Kourou, expressed their joy over the successful
launch. Describing the Ariane-5 launch as "a wonderful achievement"
in his post-launch comment, a beaming Kasturirangan said it was
a "very eventful flight, spectacular and more importantly, technologically
Final geostationary orbit about 36,000 km above equator
In the coming days, orbit raising operations of Insat-3A will be
carried out by firing its LAM in stages till the satellite attains
its final geostationary orbit, which is about 36,000 km above the
When the satellite reaches near-geostationary orbit, deployment
of its solar panels and the two antennas as well as the solar sail
will be carried out and the satellite put in its final 3-axis stabilised
mode. This will be followed by trim manoeuvres to take the satellite
to its designated orbital slot. The payloads will be subsequently
checked out before the commissioning of the satellite.
Insat-3A will be positioned at 93.5 deg East longitude in the geostationary
orbit. Other Insat satellite locations are: Insat-2DT at 55 deg
East longitude, Insat-2E and Insat-3B at 83 deg East longitude,
Insat-3C and Kalpana-1 (formerly it was named Metsat-1) at 74 deg
Insat-3A has the main body in the shape of a cuboid of 2.0 x 1.77
x 2.8 m. When its solar panel and solar sail are fully deployed
in orbit, the satellite will measure 24.4 m in length. Inast-3A's
Sun tracking solar panels generate 3.1 kW of power. Two 70 Ah nickel-hydrogen
batteries support full payload operations even during eclipses.
Insat-3A, like all its predecessors in the Insat series, is a 3-axis
body-stabilised spacecraft using earth sensors, sun sensors, inertial
reference unit, momentum/reaction wheels and magnetic torquers.
It is equipped with bi-propellant thrusters. The satellite has two
deployable antennas and one fixed antenna that carry out various
transmit and receive functions.
Insat-3A will provide telecommunication, television broadcasting,
meteorology and satellite-aided search and rescue services. The
satellite is expected to contine operational services for 12 years.
Insat-3A communication payloads comprise:
*12 C-band transponders, nine of which have expanded coverage
providing an Edge-of-Coverage (EoC) Effective Isotropic Radiated
Power (EIRP) of 38 dBW and other three having India coverage beam
providing an EoC-EIRP of 37 dBW.
*Six upper extended C-band transponders having India beam coverage
providing an EoC-EIRP of 37 dBW.
*Six Ku-band transponders having India coverage beam providing an
EoC-EIRP of 47.5 dBW and
*A Satellite Aided Search & Rescue (SAS&R) transponder.
The Meteorological Payloads include:
*Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) with 2 km resolution in
the visible spectral band and 8 km resolution in infrared and water
*Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera operating in visible, near infrared
and shortwave infrared bands with 1 km resolution.
*Data Relay Transponder (DRT)
for more on Insat-3A