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ISRO Puts Emisat, 28 Foreign Satellites into Orbit

India will also launch two more defence satellites some time in July or August with its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)

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credit: static.dnaindia.com

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday put Emisat — an electronic intelligence satellite for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) — and 28 other foreign satellites into orbit in a copybook style.

With Monday’s launch, India has successfully put into orbit 297 foreign satellites to date.

So far, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket has put into orbit nation’s 46 satellites, including 10 satellites built by students from Indian universities.

Notable aspects of this space mission are the flying of a new variant of PSLV, switching off and on the fourth stage engine couple of times and the use of the fourth stage as an orbital platform carrying three experimental payloads.

After the successful launch, space agency’s Chairman K. Sivan said: “Today the PSLV has successfully injected the ISRO-made Emisat satellite into its intended orbit and 28 customer satellites at a 504-km altitude.

“The mission is special for the ISRO on many counts as it was the first time a PSLV rocket was launched with four strap-on motors; the mission has three different orbits for the very first time; the fourth stage was made an orbital platform for experiments; and there was also a new team for the PSLV.”

Sivan said the industry contributed a lot for the building of the rocket and satellite.

“Ninety-five per cent of the rocket hardware and 60-65 per cent of satellite components were fabricated by the industry,” he said.

At 9.27 a.m, the PSLV rocket standing at 44.5 metres tall and weighing 239 tonne with a one-way ticket, hurtled itself towards the skies.

With the fierce orange flame at its tail lighting, the rocket slowly gathered speed and went up.

Heeding to the demand of the public to view the rocket launch, Sivan said that a viewers’ gallery was built and 1,200 people enjoyed spectacle.

He said for the next mission about 5,000 people will be allowed to witness the launch.

ISRO
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan, left, and Junior Indian Minister for Department of Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh address a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

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 its first stage.

On January 24, the ISRO flew a PSLV with two strap-on motors, while in March, it had four strap-on motors.

The space agency also has two more PSLV variants — Core Alone (without any strap-on motors) and the larger PSLV-XL.

The ISRO selects the kind of rocket to be used based on the weight of satellites it carries.

Forty-seven seconds after the launch, the Emisat was ejected at an altitude of about 753 km.

Meanwhile, at about 60 minutes after the PSLV’s lift-off, its fourth stage was restarted and run for about 10 seconds before it was cut off again.

At about 108 minutes after the lift-off, the rocket’s fourth stage was again restarted for few seconds before it was again cut off.

Finally, at about 110 minutes, the first of the 28 foreign satellites were ejected and in five minutes, they were put into orbit.

Later, the fourth stage was restarted and stopped twice to bring its altitude to 485 km at the end of three hours after the lift-off.

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At this point, the fourth stage began its role as the orbital platform for three experimental payloads: (a) Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO for Maritime satellite applications capturing messages transmitted from ships (b) Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation), India – to assist amateur radio operators in tracking and monitoring position data and (c) Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) – for the structural and compositional studies of ionosphere, the space agency said.

As regards future missions, Sivan said the next PSLV rocket will carry RISAT and it will be followed by another PSLV launch carrying Cartosat-3 satellite.

India will also launch two more defence satellites some time in July or August with its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). (IANS)

Next Story

This NASA-ISRO Mission Set to Crunch Key Space Data in Cloud

"Interest in space helps everybody. And there's a lot of commercial interest now. I think if there is a business to be made, commercial space will do that. When there is no business to be made that no one can make money, then the government should do that

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University of Iowa, Radiation, Sun
FILE - Tourists take pictures of a NASA sign at the Kennedy Space Center visitors complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 14, 2010. VOA

By NISHANT ARORA

As the humankind aims for deeper space missions like Mars in couple of years from now, the time is to democratize humongous data available via NASA and space agencies like the Indian Space Research organization (ISRO) that can boost space research via next-gen Cloud computing, a top NASA-JPL official has stressed.

Scheduled for launch from Sriharikota launch facility in Andhra Pradesh in 2022, the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is a joint project between the US and Indian space agencies to co-develop and launch a dual-frequency synthetic aperture radar on an Earth observation satellite. The satellite will be the first radar imaging one to use dual frequencies (L and S Band).

ISRO is likely to spend Rs 788 crore while JPL’s work share is expected to be over $800 million on this key project.

Using advanced radar imaging that will provide an unprecedented, detailed view of Earth, NISAR satellite is designed to observe and take measurements of some of the planet’s most complex processes — ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-driven Cloud computing is certainly going to make the key difference once the satellite is up and running.

“NISAR is going to generate 100 terabytes per day. That’s a lot of data. It’s about a hundred times more than anything we’ve ever done together. It doesn’t fit in our data centres. So we have to put it in the Cloud,” Tom Soderstrom, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), told IANS during an interaction here.

“The data needs to be worked on for the Indian space agency with several others including NASA. Having it in the Cloud gives us a good place to store, analyse and parse it right for the benefit of humankind,” Soderstrom added.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federally-funded research and development center in Pasadena, California.

“For our science data processing part, we discovered that we could use GPUs (graphic processing units) which were never done before. So, for NISAR, we tried GPUs and realized that it’s better, sometimes 100 times better, based on what you’re doing and overall four times faster,” Soderstrom explained.

ISRO
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan, left, and Junior Indian Minister for Department of Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh address a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

The data collected from NISAR mission will reveal information about the evolution and state of Earth’s crust, help scientists better understand our planet’s processes and changing climate, and aid future resource and hazard management.

According to Soderstrom, now they can not only process data much faster but also switch between CPUs and GPUs, whichever is the cheapest.

“Cloud will help us process the data differently. Now, you have lots of interesting data for different spacecrafts. We can now apply machine learning to see trends — both in the science and telemetry data,” said the NASA-JPL executive.

At JPL, everyone has intelligent digital assistant Alexa at his or her desk, helping the staffers organise daily tasks while making sense of intrinsic data-sets.

“An intelligent digital assistant has two pieces to it. It knows who I am and also knows how long I’ve been there, meaning it knows my role. So it can tell me things that I need to know before I even know I need them. You can ask Alexa simple things like when is NISAR launching or how much data it is producing on a daily basis, or where my source data is coming from,” Soderstrom explained.

Alexa can tell you about the mission’s budget. It can tell you about the compute environment and “we can speak to it, type to it or text to it. We apply machine learning to make Alexa smarter and smarter over time”.

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Soderstrom is also bullish on space collaborations between countries to create a better world.

“Interest in space helps everybody. And there’s a lot of commercial interest now. I think if there is a business to be made, commercial space will do that. When there is no business to be made that no one can make money, then the government should do that.

“If space becomes the business, then let the business people do it like Elon Musk began by transporting things to the International Space Station (ISS). JPL, on the other hand, wants to go and do things that have never been done before. So if people can go to the moon and mine it, so be it. Once Mars becomes commonplace, we’re going to Jupiter’s moon Europa in search of life,” elaborated Soderstrom. (IANS)