Indian space research programme moved another step forward on Saturday in indigenising satellite navigation system by successfully launching its fourth navigation satellite, IRNSS-1D by PSLV-C27 rocket, at Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
The satellite was successfully put into orbit about 20 minutes after the textbook launch at exact 5.19 pm from the second launch pad at the island spaceport in the Bay of Bengal, about 90 km north of Chennai.
The successful launch, the fourth in a series of seven satellites planned by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to put in place India’s own navigation system on a par with US Global Positioning System, was earlier scheduled for March 9.
But the launch was deferred for technical reasons related to an observation in the telemetry system. “The IRNSS-1D satellite is put into orbit”, Isro Chairman A S Kiran Kumar declared after the launch and congratulated the entire team of Isro on the success of the PSLV mission. IRNSS-1D carries two types of payloads — navigation payload and ranging payload. The satellite will help augmenting the satellite based navigation system which is currently under development. Once developed, the system will be targeted towards South Asia region. The satellite will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services.
With a mission life of 10 years, the configuration of IRNSS-1D, weighing 1,425 kg, would be similar to that of its three predecessors and it was realised about four months after the launch of IRNSS-1C.
After injection into this preliminary orbit, the two solar panels of the satellite automatically deployed in quick succession and the Master Control Facility at Hassan took control and performed the initial orbit raising manoeuvres before placing it in a circular geostationary orbit.
Isro's most trusted rocket and workhorse launch vehicle PSLV-C27 carried the IRNSS satellite, designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary.
This would be the 29th mission of PSLV, which has so far completed 28 successive successful missions.
This is the eighth time Isro would be using the ‘XL’ configuration, the earlier seven being PSLV-C11/Chandrayaan-1, PSLV-C17/GSAT-12, PSLV-C19/RISAT-1. PSLV-C22/IRNSS-1A, PSLV-C25/Mars Orbiter Mission, PSLV-C24/IRNSS-1B and PSLV-C26/IRNSS-1C missions.
With a lift off mass of 320 tonne, the 44.4 meter tall PSLV-C27 uses solid propellants in the first and third stage and liquid propellants in the second and fourth stage.
With the operationalisation of IRNSS-1D, four active IRNSS satellites will be transmitting navigation signals. This meets the minimum number of satellites necessary for enabling navigation receiver to compute its position. Thus, with IRNSS-1D functioning in orbit, proof-of-concept of an independent regional navigation satellite system over India can be established.