When India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) with its new configuration — PSLV-DL — is launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota later this month, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will aim to achieve a first in the history of satellite technology. Unlike other launch vehicles, where each stage of the launcher plunges back to Earth, the last stage of this launcher will serve as an ‘orbital platform’ and will help in a variety of tasks designed for the satellite mounted on the platform. The newly configured PSLV C-44 will be launched into orbit carrying two satellites on January 24 2019. Describing the development, an ISRO scientist, on condition of anonymity, said that this was the first time in the world that such a technique is being used. “Only India could have done it as our primary objective is to maximise the benefits with the resources available with us,” he said.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
In a normal launch vehicle, each stage falls off after fuel completes burn-off, triggering the burn in the next stage. The PSLV-DL, which is a four-stage launcher, will follow the same pattern, except for the fact that the fourth stage won’t fall off after launching the satellite into its orbit. “The fourth stage will serve as a platform or a vehicle for the satellite. For instance, we can deploy solar panels or other tools to aid the satellite riding on the platform or to manoeuvre it to different positions along its orbit,” he said. The new variant will have alternating solid and liquid stages, with the last stage of the launch vehicle containing both solid and liquid fuel. PSLV-C44 will launch KalamSat — a student satellite — and Microsat-R — an imaging satellite. While Microsat-R will be launched into a different orbit, KalamSat, designed for communication capabilities, will be the first to use the fourth stage as a platform.
-After launch, when the rocket lifts off for a few kms, the first stage detaches and falls back to earth.
Second and third stages too fall off one after the other.
Normally, the fourth stage firing takes the satellite close to its orbit and releases before falling back to earth.
For the first time, the fourth stage will remain with satellite throughout its mission life
Fourth stage will be provided with solar panels and will use its boosters for any changes in orbit.
No space agency in the world has ever used a fourth stage booster for this purpose.
ISRO launches India’s first student-made satellite in its first space programme for 2019
ISRO will start off India’s space programme account on January 24 2019, with the launch of Microsat-R, an imaging satellite for DRDO, and Kamalsat, a small communication satellite developed by students and Space Kidz India. The satellites will be carried by a new variant of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. “We will be launching 700-kg Microsat-R and Kalamsat with a new variant of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). In order to reduce the weight and increase the mass, an aluminum tank is used for the first time in the fourth stage,” Dr K Sivan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Details about Kamalsat created by students
- Kalamsat-V2 is a communication satellite with a life span of two months
- The nanosatellite is a 10cm cube weighing 1.2 kg
- The student-made satellite cost was about Rs 12 lakh
- Kalamsat will be the first to use the rocket’s fourth stage as an orbital platform. The fourth stage will be moved to higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments
- It is named after former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and was built by an Indian high school student team, led by Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old from the Tamil Nadu town of Pallapatti
- The satellite made by students is the world’s lightest and first ever 3D-printed satellite
- The PSLV launch by ISRO will take place 90 km off Chennai — from the first launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota.
- Srimathy Kesan, Founder CEO of Space Kidz India, told IANS that her dream of putting a satellite built by students will become a reality tomorrow night with the launch of Kalamsat.
- Space Kidz India is working towards promoting art, science and culture for students of India, and to create an international platform for them.
Plans to make Vikramsat for biological experiments in space
Chennai-based Space Kidz India now plans to build another student-made satellite – Vikramsat – to do some biological experiment in space, said a top official.
How was the satellite launch vehicle changed?
The PSLV launch tomorrow is a special event because of the multiple utility of the rocket and its configuration. The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel. In its normal configuration, the rocket will have six strap-on motors hugging the rocket’s first stage. However, the launch rocket tomorrow will have just two strap-on motors for the first time, called the DL mode. Moreover, the final fuel stage of the PSLV rocket will also play an additional role. IIST is co-building a satellite with California, Surrey institutes After launching several satellites built by students of different universities, ISRO will launch one built by the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) in collaboration with California Institute of Technology, an Indian space agency official said. “The IIST is designing a satellite along with California Institute of Technology,” ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan, told IANS. The IIST is an autonomous body under the Department of Space and is a deemed university inaugurated in 2007. According to the California Institute of Technology, the student-made satellite would be a test bed for a new type of space telescope and is called AAReST (Autonomous Assembly of a Reconfigurable Space Telescope). The AAReST is designed and built in large part by students of California Institute of Technology in collaboration with IIST and Surrey Space Centre in England.”The satellite is in Kourou. It will be put into orbit by Ariane rocket. Weighing about three ton, the satellite is a replacement for INSAT-4CR. It will be followed by GSAT 30 which will be a replacement for INSAT 4A,” Sivan said.