India successfully launches CARTOSAT-2, SRE-1, LAPAN-TUBSAT, PEHUENSAT-1

India successfully launches CARTOSAT-2, SRE-1, LAPAN-TUBSAT, PEHUENSAT-1


Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India, 10 January 2007 – In its 10th flight conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, today (9.23 AM IST), ISRO’s PSLV-C7 successfully launched 4 satellites:

– Indian remote sensing satellite CARTOSAT-2
– Indian Space capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1)
– Indonesian LAPAN-TUBSAT
– Argentina’s PEHUENSAT-1

All the events have gone on smoothly. All the four satellites of the PSLV-C7 were successfully injected into orbit at an altitude of 638.7 km, 949.8 seconds after the lift off. The entire process took 20 minutes. Based on the velocity during the first three stages, the fourth stage, an unpowered flight called ‘coasting’ lasted for 15 seconds, moving purely under the influence of gravity.

“We have done it successfully. We have put all four satellites into the required orbit. It was a textbook mission. Our boys have done well,” ISRO Chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair said after the launch. This is the first time India has launched four satellites together.

CARTOSAT-2 was placed in a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit. CARTOSAT-2, the twelfth in the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite series, is an advanced remote sensing satellite capable of providing scene-specific spot imagery. It will join the other six IRS satellites which are in service — IRS-1C, IRS-1D, OCEANSAT-1, Technology Experimental Satellite (TES), RESOURCESAT-1 and CARTOSAT-1. It carries a Panchromatic camera (PAN) to provide imageries with a spatial resolution of better than one metre and a swath of 9.6 km. The satellite can be steered up to 45 deg along as well as across the track. The data from the satellite will be used for cartographic applications at cadastral level, urban and rural infrastructure development and management, as well as applications in Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS).

The Cartosat-2 follows the launch of CARTOSAT-1, which was launched on May 5, 2005 from Sriharikota. CARTOSAT-1 is the eleventh satellite in the Indian remote sensing satellite series. Intended for cartographic applications, it carries two panchromatic cameras that take black-and-white stereoscopic pictures in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The imageries have a spatial resolution of 2.5 metre and cover a swath of 30 km.

The imageries from Cartosat-1 are proving to be highly useful for generating digital elevation maps for urban and rural development, land and water resources management, disaster assessment, relief planning and management and environmental impact assessment. CARTOSAT-1 also carries a Solid State Recorder with a capacity of 120 Giga Bits to store the images taken by its cameras.

LAPAN-TUBSAT is a cooperative venture between Indonesian Space Agency, LAPAN and Technical University of Berlin. It is an Earth observation satellite besides a technical demonstrator in control systems. The 56 kg LAPAN-TUBSAT carries two Charge Coupled Device (CCD) cameras with ground resolutions of 5 m and 200 m respectively. It also carries an experiment for message store and forward system.

PEHUENSAT-1 is a 6 kg Argentinean nano-satellite meant to serve educational, technological and scientific fields. PEHUENSAT-1, developed by University of Comahue of Argentina, AMSAT (Amateur Satellite Association of Argentina) and Argentina Association for Space Technology, is intended to provide an experiment platform to perform amateur radio experiments between colleges and universities of Argentina.

– About SRE
SRE is intended to demonstrate the capability to recover an orbiting space capsule and associated technologies. “SRE is intended to test a reusable thermal protection system, systems for navigation, guidance and control, hypersonic aero-dynamics, management of communication blackout, deceleration and floatation system and recovery experiments,” an ISRO official said here.

SRE, according to ISRO, is made of mild steel and comprises an aero-thermo structure, spacecraft platform, deceleration and floatation system and micro-gravity payloads. A parachute, pyro-devices, avionics packages of triggering unit and sequencer, telemetry and tracking system and sensors for measuring system performance parameters are placed inside the SRE capsule. An ISRO official said that SRE will remain in orbit for two to four weeks during which it will be used to perform experiments in a micro-gravity environment.

“The capsule will then be de-orbited and re-enter the earth’s atmosphere,” the official said. On re-entry, after initial aerodynamic braking, a parachute system will reduce its touch down velocity. SRE will splash down in the Bay of Bengal, about 140 km east off the Sriharikota coast. ISRO said a floatation system will keep the SRE afloat and enable its recovery.