- GSAT-6A, the second predominantly S-band communications satellite, is set to be launched from Sriharikota on March 29.
Other Details of the satellite:
- It will complement GSAT-6, which has been orbiting since August 2015 at 83 degrees East longitude.
- The 2,000-kg-class 6A, costing about Rs. 270 crore, is a great deal more than a routine communications satellite.
- It is designated for the use of the Armed Forces and will not add any transponder capacity for general uses, according to sources in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- A special feature of the GSAT-6A is its 6-metre-wide umbrella-like antenna, which will be unfurled in once it is in space.
- The antenna is thrice as broad as the antennas generally used in ISRO satellites.
- It will enable mobile communication from anywhere via hand-held ground terminals. Regular communication satellites with smaller antenna require much larger ground stations, said a former director of ISRO.
The S-band antenna:
- The S-band’s antenna was developed by ISRO’s Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad.
- The unfurl-able antenna, hand-held ground terminals, and network management techniques could be useful in future satellite-based mobile communication applications.