GSAT-11, India’s advanced and heaviest communication spacecraft to date at 5,700 kg, is to be launched early next year on the European Ariane launch vehicle.
The high-throughput satellite with its multi-spot beam coverage of the country will be far superior to the older generation three-tonne INSAT/GSAT spacecraft.
GSAT-11 is designed to generate a bandwidth of more than 12 gbps primarily for users of Internet driven services, VSAT operations and rural connectivity.
5 commercial satellites
Globally many operators are putting up such high throughput satellites for commercial use while ISRO is working on putting up five such in the near future.
Paris-based launch company Arianespace announced this latest order from old customer Indian Space Research Organisation; GSAT-11 would be its 21st Indian spacecraft.
M. Annadurai, Director of ISRO Satellite Centre or ISAC, Bengaluru, said, “The satellite is getting integrated [at ISAC.]. We are targeting the first quarter of 2017 for its launch.”
This would be the first spacecraft to be integrated on ISRO’s new i-6k platform, he told The Hindu.
The INSAT/GSATs have not exceeded 3,400 kg; the last heaviest was GSAT-10 launched in 2012.
Also, ISRO’s newly readied medium-lift launcher can only lift satellites up to 2,000 kg. Arianespace quoted its Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël announcing the GSAT-11 contract along with five other global launch orders.