A last-minute delay due to an anomaly in the indigenous cryogenic upper stage of the GSLV-F05 gave some anxious moments to ISRO officials, but this did not deter them from putting the INSAT-3DR, an advanced weather satellite with four payloads, into a precise Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
“The naughty boy has turned into an adorable boy,” K. Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) said from mission control, summing up the feeling of the ISRO community about the vehicle that also marked a hat-trick of successful launches for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on Thursday.
At 4.50 p.m., after a delay of 40 minutes, the GSLV-F05 in its tenth flight soared beautifully in an arc into the clear blue skies.
Exactly 17 minutes after take-off, the satellite was injected into orbit. ISRO had aimed at a perigee of 170 km plus or minus 5 km before launch, but ended up injecting the satellite at 169.7 km. Scientists found one of the valves on the ground circuit opening while filling propellants in the indigenous cryogenic upper stage and isolated it through remote command.
The INSAT-3DR carries four payloads. “This is the third consecutive flight of the GSLV Mark II with our indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine,”A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO said.
The INSAT-3DR carries a multi-spectral Imager, one of the four payloads.
It will generate images of the Earth from a geostationary altitude of 36,000 km every 26 minutes and provide information on parameters such as sea surface temperature, snow cover, cloud motion winds, among others.
The second payload, a 19 channel sounder, will provide information on the vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and integrated ozone while the Data Relay Transponder will provide service continuity to ISRO’s previous meteorological missions.
The Search and Rescue payload can pick up and relay alert signals originating from the distress beacons of maritime, aviation and land-based users to the Indian Mission Control Centre (INMCC).
The major users of the service will be the Indian Coast Guards, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Directorate General of Shipping, Defence Services and fishermen.
The Indian service region will cover a large part of the Indian Ocean and will also include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Tanzania for providing distress alert services.