BANGALORE: It’s Mission Saptha Upagraha and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) says all is on track. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is a constellation of seven satellites and the ISRO seems to have pooled the best space stars from various work centres for the project. Shrugging out of the current crisis and sticking as one unit chanting the ‘Mission Matters-mantra’ spelt-out by its chief K Radhakrishnan, the prestigious mission promises to make India an independent space power.
Scheduled for a launch this year, three satellites are expected to be placed in the Geostationary Orbit at 32.5°E, 83°E & 131.5°E and two satellites each would be placed in the Geosynchronous Orbit with equatorial crossing at 55°E and 111.5°E and at an inclination of 29° to the equator. Two spare satellites are also planned as part of the mission. The IRNSS would provide two services, with the Standard Positioning Service open for civilian use and the Restricted Service, encrypted one, for authorised users (military).
The spacecraft configuration has been finalised and the satellites of the constellation are being configured identically with each weighing 1,425 kg. First flight model structure has been ready for assembly and integration.
Design reviews of major sub-systems of IRNSS satellites like spacecraft structure, thermal control systems, propulsion systems, power system, telemetry tracking and control, deployment mechanisms, pyrotechnic devices, composite elements, check out and integration have been completed. The spacecraft is basically configured with I-1K Bus to be compatible for launch onboard PSLV.
All the payload subsystems and atomic clock units are under various stages of realisation, with the Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, and the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, playing the lead role. Civil works of Satellite Control Facility at Hassan is in progress. Four 7.2 m antennas and one 11 m antenna have been installed so far. The civil works for the IRNSS Navigation Centre at Byalalu and the Factory Acceptance Test for IRNSS Network Timing (IRNWT) elements have also been completed.