July , 2017
PSLV- C38 the earth’s observatory satellite
13:18 pm

Shiwani Kumar

The mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched 31 satellites into space in a single flight through Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on June 23, 2017. PSLV successfully took off from the first Launchpad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) in Sriharikota at 9.29 a.m. According to the Department of Space and Research Organisation, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 40th flight, propelled the 712 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for the earth observation along with the 30 co- passenger satellites weighing about 243 kg at the lift-off into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SOS). PSLV –C38 is its 17th flight in its ‘XL’ configuration or with use of solid strap on motors. The co-passenger satellite encompasses 29 Nano satellites from 14 different countries specifically, Austria , Belgium , Chile , Czech Republic , Finland , France , Germany , Italy , Latvia , Japan , Lithuania , Slovakia , the UK, and the USA along with the one Nano satellite of India that is NIUSAT. Thus, the total weight of the satellites carried on board PSLV-C38 is about 955 kg. These 29 international Nano satellites were launched as part of the commercial arrangement between Antrix Corporation Limited, a Government of India company under the Department of Space (DOS) and the commercial arm of ISRO and the International customers.

Features of PSLV-C38

The steady remote sensing services will be delivered by the use of panchromatic and multi spectral camera by the Cartosat-2. The images sent by the satellite will be beneficial for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and various other land information system (LIS) as well as geographical information system (GIS) applications. This latest satellite can spot very small objects and with the resolution of 0.6 metres. An ISRO official said, “Defence will be boosted. It can be used in identifying terrorist camps and bunkers.” By the previous satellites in this series we can get an idea of the high resolution as in the previous one the resolution used was 0.8 metres, which took images which further helped India to carry out its precise strikes on the seven terror camps across the Line of Control last year. As per The Indian Express, an official said, “Once this satellite becomes operational , it would be handed over to the defence forces , which have their own set up to access data. “The Cartosat -2 series are very agile,” said the ISRO official, which means that they are destined to take very explicit pictures of very precise designated expanses. As per The Times of India reports, the pictures satellite will capture will not only be definite but also high- revolution. An ISRO official said that this will be “high-resolution scene specific spot imagery.”

Nano satellites

The nano satellite, which was launched by India, belongs to Tamil Nadu’s Nooral University of Islam, which will facilitate multi spectral-imagery for crop monitoring and disaster management support applications.The PEGASUS AT03 is a nano satellite from the University of Applied Sciences in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. This satellite will help to measure the temperatures of the electrons in the thermosphere by the scientists can get a clear picture of plasma conditions and recognise the procedure that regulates earth’s weather conditions. The QB50 project is an international grid of nano satellites from various universities; this satellite will be used to detect ions and neutral particles in upper atmosphere and also has space imaging systems. The Inflatesail is a nano satellite from the Surrey Space Centre in UK; this satellite has the potential to decrease space debris in low earth orbit. UCLSat is the nano satellite project from the University of London and has Indian connections; this satellite will also detect ions and neutral particles in the upper atmosphere. SUCHAI is a nano satellite of the University of Chile for Aerospace Investigation. It is equipped with cameras and GPS to detect variation in the electron density of atmosphere. The VZLUSAT-1 is a nano satellite from the Czech Republic for atmospheric research and will also validate a new model of miniaturised x-ray telescope. Aalto-1 is a nano satellite developed by the students of Aalto University in Finland, which will display the low earth orbit for electron and proton and will be used for map particle radiation. Robusta-1B is an advanced one from Robusta-1A, which will study the space radiation on the critical electrical gears of the satellite. QB50-DE04 is a nano satellite of Germany which will discern the under space circumstances. URSA MAIOR is a nano satellite of Italy from the University of Rome; it is also armed with a Micro-Electro-Mechanical Structures micro thruster experiment. Max Valier is the nano satellite developed by teams in Italy and Germany; this will help to avoid collisions. The Venta-1 is an academic nano satellite from the Ventspils University College in Latvia, it is also an earth observatory satellite and has low resolution camera for imaging earth. The LituanicaSat-2 is an academic Nano satellite developed by the Vilnius University in Lithuania; this satellite will take measurements and perceive the elements in the upper atmosphere.3 DIAMONDS is the nano satellite from the Sky and Space Global, which is beneficial for remote sensing, IOT networks, communications, defence and science. CE-Sat 1 is the nano satellite from Japan, this satellite meant to articulate systems and improve image dispensation and analysis software.

The director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre K. Sivan said it was not an ordinary mission as PS4 (fourth stage) would travel 10 more orbits after ejecting all the satellites. The mission director, B. Jayakumar said “The fourth stage of the vehicle will be reignited thrice. The atmospheric data collected from the orbit will be useful for future missions...The success of the mission shows that PSLV can do any mission, carry any number of satellites and travel multiple orbits.”

PSLV C-38 vitrines the proficiency of the of the heavier XL version of PSLV rockets which has been used to launch numerous satellites in former two years. PSLVC-34 was launched with 20 satellites last year which is the maximum by ISRO in a single flight. PSLV C-37 made a world record by delivering 104 satellites into space in
February of this year.

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