The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved another milestone on Sunday (30 July), as it successfully launched and placed seven Singapore satellites into their designated orbits.
ISRO has launched more than 350 foreign satellites belonging to 36 countries since 1999, with a number of satellites belonging to Singapore.
The primary payload, DS-SAR, a radar imaging earth observation satellite, was among the seven satellites deployed during this latest mission. Co-developed by DSTA (representing the Government of Singapore) and ST Engineering, DS-SAR is equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, which was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
This cutting-edge technology enables DS-SAR to provide high-resolution images regardless of weather conditions, making it capable of capturing all-weather day and night coverage with a 1-meter resolution at full polarimetry.
The main objective of the DS-SAR satellite is to fulfill the imagery requirements of various government agencies in Singapore. ST Engineering also plans to utilize the satellite’s capabilities to enhance their commercial services, offering multi-modal and higher responsiveness imagery as well as geospatial services to their customers.
ISRO successfully deployed the Singapore satellites using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C56), which launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The seven satellites were precisely placed into a 535-kilometer circular orbit, and subsequently, the rocket’s upper stage was safely deorbited to a low earth circular orbit, effectively reducing its orbital life.
Approximately 21 minutes after the PSLV lifted off, the primary payload, DS-SAR, was deployed into its designated orbit. Subsequently, over the next three minutes, the six other satellites were released into space. The names of these satellites are Velox-AM, Arcade, Scoob-II, NuLIoN, Galassia-2, and Orb-12 Strider.
Velox-AM is a 23-kilogram technology demonstration microsatellite, followed by Arcade, which serves as an experimental satellite designed for atmospheric coupling and dynamics exploration.
Scoob-II, on the other hand, is a 3U nanosatellite equipped with a technology demonstrator payload. NuLIoN, developed by NuSpace, is an advanced 3U nanosatellite that aims to enable seamless IoT connectivity in both urban and remote locations.
Galassia-2, another 3U nanosatellite, is destined to orbit at a low earth orbit. Lastly, Orb-12 Strider was developed under an international collaboration effort.
After all the satellites were successfully deployed, the fourth stage of the PSLV was reportedly placed into a 300-kilometer low earth circular orbit, utilizing the remaining propellants. This measure was taken to reduce the orbital life of the fourth stage, thus contributing to the mitigation of space debris.
ISRO Chairman S Somanath expressed satisfaction with the mission’s performance, describing the orbit achieved as “very perfect.” He added that ISRO has planned another PSLV mission in early September while a fully industry-owned PSLV becomes operational by 2024. /TISG
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