SRIHARIKOTA: India’s workhorse PSLV has successfully placed weather satellite SCATSAT-1 in the targeted 730 km Polar Sunsynchronous Orbit (SSO) after about 17 minutes. The rocket will be restarted 1 hour 22 minutes into its flight.
The ISRO has cut-off the engine for about one hour to enter the lower orbit off 689 km to release other seven satellites.
This is a significant mission as ISRO looks to target two orbits in one mission using home-grown multi-burn technology.
This was ISRO’s first commercial project using multi-burn technology, where five international customer satellites from Algeria, USA and Canada were launched. The technology was earlier successfully demonstrated in last December and January missions. With this capability, ISRO now stands to be able to reduce its launch costs further as well as launch more satellites faster. Only few days, European Space Agency’s Vega rocket has achieved a similar feat.
At 9.12 am, the vehicle measuring 44.4 m and lift-off mass of 320 tonne blasted-off from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR), which is about 100 km north of Chennai, on a beautiful morning. This was PSLV’s 37 flight and 15 in ‘XL’ configuration using solid strap-on motors.
Besides SCATSAT-1, there were two student satellites PRATHAM developed by IIT-Bombay and PISAT from PES University and consortium from Bengaluru. The remaining five were of foreign origin. Three satellites - ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B and ALSAT-1N – were from Algeria and Pathfinder-1 and NLS-19 from USA and Canada, respectively. The combined weight of all the eight satellites was about 675 kg.
1. The mission objective of SCATSAT-1 is to provide weather forecasting services to the user communities through the generation of weather vector products for weather forecasting, cyclone detection and tracking.
2. It is a continuity mission for Scatterometer payload carried by the earlier Oceansat-2 satellite (September, 2009 to March, 2014), which was ISRO’s first microwave remote sensing sensor.
3. Compared to Oscat, significant improvements have been incorporated in the hardware configuration in order to achieve higher data quality for Climate Data Records.
4. In its lifetime, Oscat has appreciated by global community for its quality and accuracy. Landfall of Phailin Cyclone in the Odisha coast I 2013 was accurately predicted. Typhoon Kabayan in Phillippines in 2011, Hurricane Irene in US in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in US in 2012 were some of the extreme weather events captured by Oscat.
5. SCATSAT-1 data will be shared with international agencies like EUMETSAT, KNML, NASA, NOAA and ECMWF apart from Indian users.
6. the Ku-band scatterometer payload is similar to one carried by Oscat.