MUMBAI: India's communication payload Insat-4A has been installed atop its Sylda multi-payload dispenser system ahead of its 22 December launch onboard an Ariane 5 generic launcher from the European Space port of Kourou in French Guiana.
The satellite, the heaviest of the Indian communication satellites, carries a mixed payload of 12 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders. It is also the first in India's new Insat-4 telecommunications spacecraft series that will provide coverage over the Indian subcontinent. The 12 Ku Band transponders have been leased out to the new Tata-Sky joint venture for direct-to-home (DTH) transmission using Vsats. These transponders could offer DTH customers a bundle of 150 television channels.
The action occurred inside the Ariane 5 final assembly building. As can be seen in the picture featured alongside, Insat-4A is lowered into the assembly fixture, with its Sylda dispenser visible at the bottom center of the photo.
The mated Insat-4A/Sylda unit is to be integrated with the protective payload fairing, and this combination will be positioned over Europe's MSG-2 second-generation metrological satellite on top of Ariane 5 to complete the payload "stack."
Liftoff of the Ariane 5 Generic vehicle with Insat 4A and MSG-2 is set for 21 December (around 2 am on 22 December India time).
The MSG-2 platform will provide high-resolution images of the Earth's weather activity, and is to measure the planet's radiation balance for information on climate change.