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GSLV-F05 Successfully Launches INSAT-3DR
Sep 09, 2016

ISRO has successfully launched its advanced weather satellite INSAT-3DR. The GSLV-F05 took off from Sri Harikota and successfully installed the INSAT-3DR into its orbit on September 8.

  • INSAT-3DR is an advanced meteorological satellite that has been configured with an imaging system and an atmospheric sounder.
  • INSAT-3DR had a lift-off mass of 2211 kg, which includes about 1255 kg of propellant. The propellant carried by INSAT-3DR is mainly required to raise the satellite from the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) to its final Geostationary Orbit and to maintain the satellite in its orbital slot during its life, says ISRO.
  • GSLV-F05 is the flight in which the indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) will be carried on-board for the fourth time during a GSLV flight.
  • GSLV-F05 is significant since it is the first operational flight of GSLV carrying Cryogenic Upper Stage.
  • INSAT-3D was launched by ISRO in 2013, and it had added a new dimension to weather monitoring through its atmospheric sounding system.

INSAT-3DR, the latest meteorological satellite built by ISRO, is similar to INSAT-3D. The improvements incorporated in INSAT-3D are also a part of INSAT-3DR. These are:

  • Imaging in Middle Infrared band to provide night time pictures of low clouds and fog.
  • Imaging in two Thermal Infrared bands for estimation of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) with better accuracy.
  • Higher Spatial Resolution in the Visible and Thermal Infrared bands.
  • INSAT-3DR carries a Data Relay Transponder as well as a Search and Rescue Transponder, like its predecessor.
  • INSAT-3DR will provide service continuity to earlier meteorological missions of ISRO.

INSAT-3D was developed by ISRO and designed to provide meteorological observation and monitoring of land/ocean surfaces.

The satellite—adapted from India’s I-2K spacecraft bus-included a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder, as well as a data relay transponder and a payload for satellite-aided search and rescue operations.

It features eight new-generation digital signal processors and an 11-meter antenna reflector.

However, the spacecraft never fulfilled its potential after suffering technical issues shortly after launch leading to limited operation.

INSAT-3DR has a lift-off mass of 2211 kg, which includes about 1255 kg of propellant.

The four strap-on motors ignited around 4.8 seconds in advance of liftoff, with the solid-fuelled core igniting once the countdown reached zero.

The first stage core burned for one minute and forty-six seconds before depleting its hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) fuel. After this, thrust continued to be generated by the four strap-on motors until their shutdown two minutes and 29 seconds into the mission.

Half a second after cutoff, the second stage separated from the spent first. Ignition of the second stage’s Vikas engine occurred about another half a second after staging.

Separation of the payload fairing from the nose of the rocket occurred three minutes and fifty seconds after launch, with the rocket at an altitude of approximately 115.45 kilometres.

The GSLV’s second stage completed its two-minute, 40-second burn at the four minute and forty-nine second mark in the mission.

Separating four seconds after cutoff, the spent stage then made way for the third stage to begin its burn.

Powered by a single cryogenic engine fuelled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, the third stage fired for two seconds short of twelve minutes to raise the spacecraft into its targeted deployment orbit.

Spacecraft separation occurred twelve seconds after the end of the GSLV’s powered flight, at 17 minutes and four seconds mission elapsed time, marking the successful conclusion to the mission.

GSLV Launch

First flown in April 2001, the GSLV has had something of a troubled history; of its nine launches to date, four completed their missions successfully, one reached a lower-than-planned orbit which was corrected at the expense of several years’ operational life for its payload, one reached an unusable low orbit that could not be corrected and three failed to achieve orbit altogether.

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