ISRO to launch 48 transponders to increase satellite capacity

Broadcast and private TV sector to be benefitted

In just a few weeks ahead, broadcasters and the private television industry will heave a sigh of relief, as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 48 transponders to boost the satellite capacity for India.

Isro Chairman K Radhakrishnan, speaking at the 2014 Bengaluru Space Expo here on Wednesday said that Isro would launch the transponders through a French Arianne
rocket, as there is a shortage of satellite capacity and it is in high demand here at present.

The broadcast sector has expanded rapidly, but transponders haven’t kept pace with that change.

He said that India had about 180 transponders so far and that the new 48 transponders would take care of the immediate demands.

The 11th five-year plan had mandated Isro to have 500 transponders by the end of 2012. However, that target has not been reached.

“But Isro is well aware of the demand from the private TV and broadcasting sector, Internet, weather prediction, telephone services, communication services, and with that in view, is launching the additional 48 transponders on GSAT-6 satellite on Arianne,” he added.

Isro is expected to touch 400 transponders by 2017, which will still be an achievement considering the uncertainties of space.

Radhakrishnan said that Isro was discussing the formation of a single entity by merging the private and the public sectors. The single entity, yet to be christened, will allow Isro to take up research and development work.

The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of Isro at Hyderabad hadL played a key role in helping the country save thousands of lives in the recent cyclone that battered the Andhra coast, he added.

Nearly 25,000 villages received on-time information on the need to move people out to safer places. On the Mars mission, Radhakrishnan said that a committee would be formed to discuss how best the data generated by the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) could be utilised.

This will happen after a couple of months as the orbiter has a life span of six months. At around the fourth month, Isro will have adequate data about Mars to be utilised for relevant purposes, he added.

The expo was organised jointly by Confederation of Indian Industries and Isro.

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