On September 8th, the tenth flight of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle — GSLV — launched the country's advanced weather satellite, INSAT-3DR.
The satellite weighed in at 2,211 kg. The GSLV launch vehicle is designed to inject a 2 to 2.5 ton class of satellites into GTO (Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit). The launch occurred from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Center SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota.
GSLV-F05 flight is significant as this is the first operational flight of GSLV carrying a Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), which was developed in India. The GSLV-F05 vehicle is configured with three stages, including the CUS similar to the ones that have been successfully flown during previous GSLV-D5 and D6 missions that occurred in January of 2014 and August of 2015. GSLV-D5 and D6 accurately placed the GSAT-14 and GSAT-6 satellites to their intended GTO slots.
INSAT-3DR is configured with an imaging system and an Atmospheric Sounder and is based on ISRO's two ton class platform known as the I-2k bus and employs light-weight structural elements, such as Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP). Additionally, 1700 Watts of power are generated by the satellite's solar array.
There are a number of significant improvements incorporated into INSAT-3D...
- Imaging in middle infrared band to provide nighttime images of low clouds and fog
- Imaging in two thermal Infrared bands for Sea Surface Temperature (SST) estimations with better accuracy
- Higher spatial resolution in the visible and thermal Infrared bands
Also carried aboard INSAT-3DR is a data relay transponders as well as a search rescue transponder, enabling the satellite to provide service continuity to India's earlier meteorological missions and to augment the various meteorological and search and rescue services available through the nation.