Chennai, Feb 6: India's 40th Communication Satellite GSAT-31, weighing 2,535 kg, was successfully launched on Wednesday morning by the Ariane-5 launch vehicle from Kourou in French Guiana.
Reports here said about 42 minutes after lift off at 0231 hrs, the GSAT-31 was separated and injected into Geosynchronous orbit.
GSAT-31, which went as a lower passenger of Ariane-5, was a telecommunication satellite designed and made by ISRO that would provide communications services in Ku-band for at least 15 years.
GSAT-31 will essentially help bridge the digital divide in the Indian subcontinent as part of an ambitious Indian space program, whose objectives were to develop India, while pursuing science research and planetary exploration.
GSAT-31 was configured on ISRO’s enhanced I-2K Bus, utilising the maximum bus capabilities of this type.
It would augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit.
GSAT-31 derives its heritage from ISRO’s earlier INSAT and GSAT satellite series.
The sources said 'this is a versatile satellite with an unique configuration providing flexible frequency segment and flexible coverage'.
The satellite provides Indian mainland and island coverage. GSAT-31 will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites and it will be used for supporting VSAT networks, Television uplinks, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG), DTH-television services, cellular backhaul connectivity and many such applications.
GSAT-31 also provides wide beam coverage to facilitate communication over large oceanic region comprising large parts of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean using a wide band transponder. Two Ku-band beacon downlink signals were transmitted for ground tracking purposes.
This was ISRO's second mission from Kourou in two months after it launched its next generation throughput communication satellite GSAT-11, weighing 5,854 kg on December five last year. GSAT-11 was the fore-runner in the series of advanced communication satellites with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and Islands.
GSAT-11 would play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country, besides providing a platform for demonstrating new generation applications. This was the first launch of 2019 from Kourou and 103rd Ariane-5 mission and the 70th with an Ariane 5 ECA version, which successfully launched two telecommunications satellites.
The -Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4, a condosat for KACST and Hellas Sat was the main payload of Ariane-5, along with the GSAT-31. The success of the mission confirmed Ariane-5's leadership in the geostationary launch services market segment.
The orbiting of GSAT-31--along with GSAT-30, which is an additional geostationary satellite to be launched soon by the Arianespace--marks another vivid demonstration of the strong bond uniting Europe and India in space cooperation. (UNI)