CHENNAI: The Indian military got another shot in the arm on Friday when the Ariane-5 launch vehicle of Arianespace, French Guiana put in orbit India’s first exclusive defence satellite GSAT-7.
The multi-band communication satellite named “Rukmini” will keep an eye on 2,000 nautical miles of the Indian Ocean region, providing live inputs to be used by Indian Navy ships, submarines and aircraft. The Indian Army, too, will get vital inputs about over-the-land movements.
“The Ariane-5 rocket took off from Kourou at 2am IST and precisely placed GSAT-7 into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) after a flight of 34 minutes 25 seconds duration,” an Isro statement said.
As planned, Isro’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka started getting the signals five minutes prior to the separation of GSAT-7 from Ariane-5.
The solar panels of the satellite have been deployed and they are generating power. Initial checks have indicated normal health of the satellite.
The present orbit of the satellite will be raised to Geostationary Orbit of about 36,000km altitude through three orbit raising manoeuvres by the firing of GSAT-7’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM).
Preparations are underway for the first firing, planned in the early hours of Saturday. The satellite will be placed in the Geostationary Orbit by September 4.