An entertainment-cum-internet revolution is on the anvil in India. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is building a massive 4000-kilogram communication satellite at it’s Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre (SAC), that will eliminate the use of cable wires, and connect televisions in Indian homes through a high-speed wireless service.
The under-construction GSAT-11 satellite will also integrate the internet and entertainment like never before. “We are building a communication satellite that will be equivalent to 150 transponders and will transmit data at 10 gigabytes per second. This satellite will bring about a societal transformation in the way we entertain ourselves at home,” said Tapan Misra, director, SAC, a crucial arm of ISRO, that has been behind the success of projects like Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan missions.
“This will be a technology that will eliminate cables and will be ideal for smart cities that are being planned in the country,” he added.
In 2009, Government of India had approved the development of GSAT-11, which is touted to be one of the largest Indian communication satellite. GSAT-11 has a mission life of about 15 years.
“It will be a four-tonne satellite. We are very proud of this project at SAC. The GSAT-11 will not only link all the towns and villages in this country with quality high-speed Wi-Fi service, it will also integrate internet and television services. It will not only revolutionise entertainment, it will also provide a quantum jump to the entertainment industry,” said Misra about the Internet-TV boom that is waiting to happen in the country in the near future.
The geostationary communications satellite which has four antennas, each with a diameter of 2.8 meters is currently undergoing flight modelling at SAC. “We plan to launch this satellite by the middle of next year. Once this satellite is in space, one can watch entertainment channels or surf the internet on their televisions. In fact it can be used for all kinds of data transmission.”
According to the ISRO scientist who is also known as the “Radar Man” for his work on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), this under-construction satellite will transmit data to “local Wi-fi towers”, which in turn will beam the signals to a “dongle-type” of instruments, connected to the television.
Meanwhile, SAC which is a part of the NISAR (NASA-ISRO SAR) mission – a joint project between NASA and ISRO – has completed the baseline design review of the payload that will help study the hazards and global environmental change.
“This Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has two major parts: the L-band and the S-band. While NASA will provide the L-band, we at SAC is building the S-band. This mission will bring in a paradigm shift in the remote sensing. It will be able to observe and measure even one millimeter of surface deformation on the earth’s crust occurring due to earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, ice-sheet collapses, movement of glaciers, and others,” Misra remarked about the mission which is expected to be launched in 2020.