PSLV-C34 to launch record 20 satellites into orbit on June 22
New Delhi, June 19, 2016
India’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 36th flight (PSLV-C34), will launch the 727.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation and a record 19 co-passenger satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on June 22.
PSLV-C34 will take off at 0925 hours on June 22 from the Second Launch Pad of the spaceport, located on an island off India's east coast, about 80 km from Chennai, and launch the 727.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
It will be the fourteenth flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with the use of solid strap-on motors), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) sources said.
The co-passenger satellites are from the United States of America, Canada, Germany and Indonesia as well as two satellites from India, one from the Sathyabama University of Chennai and other from the College of Engineering, Pune.
The co-passenger satellites together will weigh about 560 kg at lift-off. The total weight of all the 20 satellites to be carried onboard PSLV-C34 is about 1288 kg.
According to ISRO, the Cartosat-2 series satellite is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B. After its injection into a 505 km polar SSO, it will be brought to operational configuration following which it will begin providing regular remote sensing services using panchromatic and multi-spectral cameras.
The sources said the imagery sent by the satellite will be useful in cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, precision study, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.
The co-passenger satellites include Lapan-A3 (mass 120 kg), an Indonesian microsatellite for Earth observation (multi-spectral remote sensing) for land use, natural resource and environment monitoring.
Biros (Berlin Infra-red Optical System) (130 kg) is a small scientific satellite from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The main mission objective is remote sensing of high temperature events.
M3MSat (Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Micro-satellite) of Canada is an 85 kg technology demonstration mission jointly funded and managed by Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The satellite's primary mission is the collection and study of Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals from low-Earth orbit.
SkySat Gen2-1 (USA) (110 kg) is a small Earth imaging satellite designed and built by Terra Bella, a Google company based in Mountain View, California. It will be capable of capturing sub-metre resolution imagery and HD video.
GHGSat-D (Canada) (25.5 kg) is an Earth observation satellite built by Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. It is meant for measuring atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane).
The co-passengers also include 12 Planet Labs Dove Satellites (Flock-2P), which are Earth imaging satellites. A total of 12 Dove satelites, each weighing 4.7 kg, will be carried in the mission inside three QuadPack dispensers.
Among the Indian satellites, Sathyabamasat (1.5 kg) from Sathyabama University, Chennai, is meant to collect data on greenhouse gases (water vapour, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen flouride). Swayam (1 kg), from the College of Engineering, Pune, to provide point to point messaging services to the HAM community.
ISRO has so far launched 57 satellites for foreign countries.