Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has successfully launched communication satellite GSAT-6A, on board its geosynchronous rocket GSLV-F08, at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This is the 12th flight of the GSLV rocket and the sixth with and indigenous cryogenic upper stage.
About GSAT- 6A satellite:
- The GSAT-6A is a high power S-band communication satellite with a mission life of about 10 years.
- A key feature of the satellite is to provide mobile communication to India through multi beam coverage facility.
- The satellite will also provide a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of 6 m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques that could be useful in satellite based mobile communication applications.
- The satellite is expected to be heavily used by security forces which are stationed in the remotest areas of the country.
The GSLV is a three stage/engine rocket. The core of first stage is fired with solid fuel while the four strap-on motors by liquid fuel. The second stage is the liquid fuel-propelled and the third is the cryogenic engine.
GSLV-F08, weighing 415.6 tonnes with a height of 49.1 meters comes with notable improvements like induction of High Thrust Vikas Engine, electromechanical actuation system in place of electro-hydraulic actuation system.
What Is An ‘Unfurlable Antenna’? What Does It Do?
ISRO’s ‘unfurlable antenna’ is a six-meter-wide antenna which looks somewhat like an umbrella. This will be ‘unfurled’ once the GSAT-6A satellite has been put in orbit. This antenna, specially designed for the mission, is three times as broad as the antennas that are usually used by ISRO. This antenna will allow mobile communication from anywhere via hand-held ground terminals. Apart from communications, the GSAT-6A satellite is believed to be designated for military use as well.
What Is S-Band? How Is It Useful?
S-band is an electromagnetic spectrum covering frequencies from 2 to 4 gigahertz (GHz). It crosses the conventional boundary between the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Super High Frequency (SHF) bands at 3.0 GHz. S-band is used by weather radars, surface ship radar, and some communications satellites. S-band is very useful because the 2.5 Ghz band is used globally for 4G services, and is worth billions of dollars. The S-band spectrum is extremely valuable for mobile broadband services.