Aditya MadanapalleDec 07, 2016 10:34:35 IST
ISRO successfully executed the thirty seventh launch of its workhorse PSLV-C36 from the First Launch Pad (FLP), at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. The rocket was in the XL configuration, with six additional motors strapped on to the main rocket. The ResourceSat-2A earth observation satellite was the only passenger on board, with a weight of 1235 kg.
The reason there are no co-passengers on this mission is because the injection altitude is too high for the smaller nanosats, microsats and cubesats. The ResourceSat-2A is expected to be operational for a period of 5 years. The conditions were a little overcast, with a slight drizzle. This was the ninth successful launch by ISRO this year from Sriharikota. The entire operation was telecast live on DoorDarshan, and can be caught here, in case you missed it.
There are ISRO made inhouse payloads were on board, meant as tests for new technologies. There are microelectomechanical sensors for performance evaluation of the launch operations. There are a number of new avionics packages on board, including an intertial navigation system that is expected to improve the accuracy of future orbital injection operations by ISRO, and provide an advantage in energy efficiency. These packages are on board in piggyback mode. The data from this mission will be used to finalise the avionics architecture for future ISRO missions. There are five on board video cameras to record the separation events from space. The cameras are expected to beam back this exciting video footage.
On board was the Vikram processor, which was entirely fabricated in India at the Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) in Chandigarh. The processors were made back in 2015. The on board computers for navigation, guidance and control is realised by the Vikram processor.
Balloons were released in a staggered manner to monitor the wind conditions at various altitudes. A wind profile was created based on the measurements of these balloons, and a steering program based on the prevalent conditions was loaded onto the on board computer of the rocket. The rocket flew close to the expected path, and the satellite was launched without a hitch. The trajectory of the rocket was a little steeper than the previous launches seen earlier this year.
ResourceSat-2A is a follow on mission to the ResourceSat launched in 2003 and the ResourceSat-2 launched in 2011. There are three imaging instruments on board the ResourceSat-2A. The The Linear Imaging Self Scanner (LISS-4) which images the earth in a high resolution of 5.8 metres, a LISS-3 camera with a lower resolution of 23.5 metres, and the Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWIFS) with the even lower resolution of 56 metres. The resolution shows how many square metres appears as one pixel in the resulting image. The PSLV-C36 has placed the ResourceSat-2A into 917 kilometre high polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
The ResourceSat-2A will be used for rural and urban development plans, disaster management, monitoring ocean and coastal development and is an important asset in taking policy decisions for the country. Out of the 122 satellites launched by PSLV since 1994, 79 are foreign satellites, and 43 are Indian satellites. PSLV has placed satellites in polar SSOs, Low Earth Orbits (LEO), Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) as well as Sub GTOs.
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