Find us on Google+

PSLV set for commercial launch with six Singaporean satellites

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, topped by the TeLEOS 1 Earth observation satellite for Singapore, is seen during prelaunch preparations in India. Credit: ISRO

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, topped by the TeLEOS 1 Earth observation satellite for Singapore, is seen during prelaunch preparations in India. Credit: ISRO

Six spacecraft for Singapore are counting down to liftoff Wednesday aboard an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

Clustered atop the the PSLV on a launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India’s east coast, the satellites were manufactured in Singapore, with launch services arranged with Antrix Corp., the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization.

Liftoff is set for 1230 GMT (7:30 a.m. EST) Wednesday the Indian spaceport, where launch is scheduled for 6 p.m. local time.

Standing more than 44 meters, or 145 feet, tall, the launcher will fire its solid-fueled first stage motor, quickly ramp up to full power and race east from the launch pad on Sriharikota Island.

Wednesday’s launch will use the “core alone” version of the PSLV without six strap-on boosters needed to help send heavier satellites into orbit. The flight will mark the 32nd flight of a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, and its 11th mission in the core alone configuration.

Generating more than a million pounds of thrust a maximum power, the first stage will burn for a minute and 53 seconds, then fall away as the PSLV’s second stage liquid-fueled Vikas engine ignites for a nearly two-and-a-half minute firing, during which the rocket’s nose cone will jettison.

A third stage motor is scheduled to ignite at T+plus 4 minutes, 21 seconds and fire for nearly two minutes, followed by a coast phase before the third and fourth stages separate at T+plus 9 minutes, 44 seconds.

The fourth stage will take over and burn its engines starting at T+plus 15 minutes, 7 seconds for more than two minutes.

Cutoff of the fourth stage engines is expected at T+plus 17 minutes, 25 seconds, then the rocket will prepare for deployment of its six satellite payloads.

The TeLEOS 1 Earth observation satellite (top) and the PSLV's secondary payloads are pictured during launch preparations. Credit: ISRO

The TeLEOS 1 Earth observation satellite (top) and the PSLV’s secondary payloads are pictured during launch preparations. Credit: ISRO

The biggest member of the payload package, the TeLEOS 1 Earth observation satellite, will fly free from the PSLV’s fourth stage at T+plus 18 minutes, 12 seconds. The other five satellites loaded aboard the rocket will separate at intervals through the mission’s 21-minute point.

The PSLV is targeting an orbit about 550 kilometers, or 341 miles, above Earth at an inclination of 15 degrees to the equator.

An experimental four-second restart of the PSLV’s fourth stage is planned after the satellites are let go, demonstrating the rocket’s ability to place multiple satellites into different orbits on future flights.

The prime satellite on Tuesday’s launch is TeLEOS 1, a 400-kilogram (880-pound) commercial Earth imaging observatory made by ST Electronics in Singapore.

TeLEOS 1 has a five-year design life, and its unique orbit taking the satellite 15 degrees north and south of the equator will yield regular revisits of observation targets every 12 to 16 hours.

With a sharp-eyed camera capable of resolving objects on the ground as small as a meter, or 3 feet, TeLEOS 1 complements Earth observation satellites in more traditional sun-synchronous orbits, according to ST Electronics.

TeLEOS 1 will not have the global coverage of a polar-orbiting Earth observing platform, but it will offer more regular imagery of equatorial locations, including Singapore.

Managers plan to sell TeLEOS 1 imagery commercially for applications like homeland security and border control, maritime surveillance and disaster response.

The five other spacecraft aboard Tuesday’s launch include microsatellites and CubeSats. Their descriptions from an ISRO press kit are posted below:

  • VELOX-CI, a 123-kilogram (271-pound) microsatellite for research in tropical environmental monitoring using radio occultation techniques. The satellite will be operated from the ground station located in Nanyang Technological University, its lead developer in Singapore.
  • Kent Ridge 1, a 78-kilogram (172-pound) microsatellite from the National University of Singapore with two primary payloads: a medium resolution hyperspectral camera and shortwave infrared hyperspectral camera. Its secondary payload is a real-time high resolution video camera.
  • VELOX-II, a 13-kilogram (28-pound) six-unit CubeSat technology demonstrator with three payloads: Communications Payload, GPS Experimental Payload and Fault Tolerant Payload. This satellite was developed by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
  • Athenoxat 1, a three-unit CubeSat, has been designed, developed and built by Microspace Rapid Pvt Ltd. in its Singapore laboratory. It is a technology demonstrator nanosatellite for Earth remote sensing.
  • Galassia is a two-unit, 3.4-kilogram (7.5-pound) CubeSat from the National University of Singapore. It carries two payloads. One measures the total electron count in the ionosphere above Singapore, and the other is a small photo-entangling quantum system to acquire quantum correlation data in space

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

Source: Space Flight

by
PSLV set for commercial launch with six Singaporean satellites

Posted in Whats New and tagged by with no comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *