The EMISAT satellite is aimed at electromagnetic measurement.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the country’s newest satellite, EMISAT, from Sriharikota launch station on Monday. The spacecraft meant to provide electronic intelligence to the Armed Forces is the first of its kind for the country.
“Today PSLV-C45 has successfully injected the ISRO-made EMISAT in a 748-km orbit as well as 28 customer satellite in a 504-km orbit as sought by the customers,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan announced.
It took off on the four-stage PSLV-C45 rocket at 9.27 a.m., along with 28 small commercial satellites from the second launch pad at the spaceport of Sriharikota. EMISAT, with its core payload or brain coming from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was released first.
The EMISAT was released into its planned slot from the fourth stage or PS4, 17 minutes into the launch.
Thereafter, the mission team fired the fourth stage — still carrying the 28 passengers — twice to bring it down to 504 km from Earth.
New PSLV variant
A new fourth variant of the launcher called the QL was used in this mission. Its first stage was fitted (or ‘strapped on’) with two additional rockets. ISRO scientists who were broadcasting the launch live said, “Collision avoidance analysis [or scanning the flight path for any debris that cripples space missions] is a standard practice before all launches from Sriharikota. A few earlier launches were adjusted between 30 seconds to 2 minutes, as we did for PSLV-C42 and PSLV-C43. However there was no such concern for today’s mission.”
At this point, PS4 released the 28 customer payloads of four countries, all done within five minutes.However, this exercise took an hour and 50 minutes since the rocket took off.
4th stage is reused
ISRO has started reusing PS4 as an innovated, low-cost, space-friendly test bed for its own microgravity experiments and those of others. It has been gradually putting additional support systems also on every new PS4; the power generating solar panels are new this time. This is the third such mission.
The PS4-fourth stage hosts three payloads in this mission. It carries an ISRO test on Automatic Identification System (AIS) related to tracking ships on sea.
AMSAT, or the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, India, has sent a payload called the Automatic Packet Repeating System. This is expected to help amateur radio operators to get improved locational accuracy in their tracking and monitoring.
The third one, the Advanced Retarding Potential Anslyser for Ionospheric Studies, has been sent up by ISRO’s university, the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology.
The other 28 international satellites — 25 3U type, two 6U type and one 2U type nano satellites — are from Lithuania (two), Spain (1), Switzerland (1) and the United States (24).
All these satellites are being launched under commercial arrangements, ISRO said.