Sunday, April 17, 2011

PSLV C16 is getting ready to be launched with 3 satellites (RESOURCESAT-2, YOUTHSAT and X-SAT) on April 20

The Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) for PSLV-C16/RESOURCESAT-2 mission met on April 16, 2011 at Satish Dhawan Space Centre - SHAR, Sriharikota. And, LAB has cleared the launch of PSLV-C16 at 10:12 hrs (IST) on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

LAB reviewed the readiness of the launch vehicle, spacecraft systems and ground stations and has authorised the commencement of the 54 hour Count Down today.

During the Count Down, propellant-filling operations of the liquid propellant second stage (PS2) and fourth stage (PS4) of the launch vehicle will be carried out.

PSLV-C16 on Launch Pad.  Photo Source-

Mandatory checks on the launch vehicle and spacecraft - including charging of batteries and pressurisation of propellant tanks will be performed. Readiness of launch infrastructure such as tracking radar systems and communication networks will also be checked.

PSLV-C16 will launch RESOURCESAT-2, YOUTHSAT and X-SAT satellites.

PSLV-C16 seen from Mobile Tower
  • RESOURCESAT-2 built by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) - the primary satellite is an advanced remote sensing satellite weighing 1206 kg for facilitating the study and management of natural resources.
  • YOUTHSAT weighing 92 kg is a joint Indo-Russian satellite for stellar and atmospheric studies.
  • X-SAT weighing 106 kg is a microsatellite for imaging applications built by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
The PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) has launched 41 satellites (19 Indian and 22 from other countries) into a variety of orbits till date. PSLV can launch IRS (Indian Remote Sensing) Satellites into sun synchronous orbits, and it can also launch small size satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). The PSLV has four stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately.

ResourceSat-2 is a data continuity mission of ISRO with improved spectral bands of the IRS-P6/ResourceSat-1. Each ResourceSat satellite carries three electrooptical cameras as its payload: LISS-3, LISS-4 and AWiFS. All the three imagers are multispectral pushbroom scanners with linear array CCDs as detectors. The ResourceSat data find their application in several areas like agricultural crop discrimination and monitoring, crop acreage/yield estimation, precision farming, water resources, forest mapping, rural infrastructure development, disaster management etc. ResourceSat-2 provides continuity and increases the observation timeliness (repetivity) in tandem with ResourceSat-1. Read more details about ResourceSat-2 here.

YouthSat was initially proposed by Dr. ABJ Kalam during his visit to Russia during 2005. It is the second satellite in the micro satellite series being launched by ISRO. The objective of this project is to provide hands-on experience to student in space experiments and data-processing, and to create a common platform for aerospace students across the world to jointly conduct experiments in space for the benefit of future generations and humanity as a whole.

The Russian party - M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University - provides the development of the scientific equipment SolRad for the studies of the solar activity, its delivery to India, and transfer of the necessary technical documentation and testing equipment. The experimental equipment SolRad is intended for registration of hard X-ray radiation within the energy ranges of 10-100 keV. Read more details about YouthSat here.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore is doing the XSAT Micro-Satellite Project which is the developmental project undertaken by CREST (Centre For Research in Satellite Technologies) with partners such as CRISP (Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing, NUS). Read more details about X-SAT here.

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