Isro eyes niche satellite market

MUMBAI: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to foray into a niche market segment. It will create small satellites having six-capacity Ku-band transponders, aimed specifically at the developing countries.


ISRO will, thus, be able to tap customers who have need for limited capacity. "We want to find space in the niche market by creating small satellites with six Ku-band transponders. In many countries like Malaysia and Thailand, there is a demand for such satellites," says Isro contract management and legal services director SB Iyer.

ISRO is adding 36 Ku-band transponders between November-June 2005 with launch of three Insat series satellites - 4A, 4B and 4C for meeting the local demand particularly from direct-to-home operators.


Beyond this, ISRO is planning to add a further 36 Ku-band transponders for 2006-2007. A part of this capacity augmentation will be through launch of the small satellites, says Iyer. The satellites will all be launched from India. So we will not have the situation where we have made the satellite ready and we will have to wait for the launch vehicle," says Iyer. ISRO uses Arianespace to launch some of its satellites.

Several foreign satellites are also keen to use ISRO's launching facility as it is a cheaper option. "Foreign satellites are willing to come here to launch. An Italian and some Russian satellites have already expressed their intent. Our Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is very popular for low orbit and medium weight satellites. We are well placed in that," says Iyer.

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