GSAT-11: ISRO Set to Launch India's Heaviest Communication Satellite in Space
GSAT-11 (Photo credit: ISRO)

Chennai, December 4: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch India's heaviest communication satellite with high throughput GSAT-11 into orbit by the Ariane-5 rocket of Arianespace from French Guiana on Wednesday. The GSAT-11 will be initially placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and will subsequently be raised to geostationary orbit by firing the satellite's onboard motor.

According to ISRO, GSAT-11 is the forerunner in a series of advanced communications satellites with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and islands. The satellite with a mission life of 15 years will have 32 user beams (Ku band) and eight hub beams (Ka band) and the throughput data rate of 16 Gbps. GSAT-11 will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country. It will also provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications, the space agency said. ISRO Launches Earth Monitoring Satellite PSLV-C43.

ISRO said the GSAT-11 will be used to meet the increased data demands with high data rates over regions using spot beams. The satellite will support BharathNet connecting gram panchayat for e-governance and digital platforms; VSAT terminals and for enterprise network and consumer broadband applications. In April 2018, the space agency had recalled GSAT-11 from Arianespace's rocket port in French Guiana for further tests, to be on the safe side.

The GSAT-11 was planned to be launched mid-May. The satellite had reached Arianespace's rocket port in March 2018. The ISRO's move to call back GSAT-11 for further tests and be doubly sure of its performance may be due to the loss of the recently launched GSAT-6A satellite, soon after it was put into orbit on March 29. ISRO suspected the failure of the power system in the satellite for the loss of communication link.

On March 29, Indian rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) slung GSAT-6A in its intended orbit. From there the satellite was to be taken up further to its orbital slot by firing its onboard motors. (With agency inputs)