ISRO developing 'intelligent' GSATs, says space agency chairman Somnath

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European Ariane 5 VA257 rocket transporting two communications satellites lifting off from the Giuana Space Centre, Europe's spaceport, in Kourou, French Guiana. - The Ariane 5 launched two telecommunications satellites, MEASAT-3d for Malaysia and GSAT-24 for India, into geostationary orbit | Photo: Handout by the European Space Agency (ESA) via AFP

New Delhi: ISRO is developing “intelligent” geostationary communication satellites that can be re-configured by changing frequencies and bandwidth as per the demand profile from customers, a top official said on Monday.

Geosynchronous Satellites are the mainstay of India's communications requirements in diverse sectors including telecommunications, television broadcasting, satellite news gathering, societal applications, weather forecasting, disaster warning and search and rescue operations.

“We are also looking at certain intelligent Geosynchronous satellites (GSAT) in the years to come which we will be able to reconfigure, and remodel based on the demand. This is already a subject of discussion on our design front,” ISRO chairman S Somnath told reporters here.

He was interacting with the media after the nationwide launch of Hughes Communications' High Throughput Satellite Broadband Service.

He said the ‘intelligent' GSATs would allow shaping of spot beams, which are targeted, high-power radio signals sent by satellite, as per the demand from customers and would also allow shaping of antennas receiving the beams.

Since the coverage area is smaller for spot beams, there is also a reduced risk of interference with other transmissions using the same frequencies, or interception by third parties.

“The future satellites that we are going to put in orbit will be different where you will be able to shape the beams as per the demand or even change the frequency or even change the bandwidth as per the demand profile on what exists on the ground on a dynamic basis,” Somnath said.

He said these will be software-driven high throughput satellites that will be built in the days to come.

Somnath said while ISRO would do a technology demonstration internally, it would encourage the private sector to build and market such services.

“We would like to put it as a commercial product and not as a technology demonstrator. Of course, we will do technology demonstration internally to satisfy ourselves, but we will like to offer it as a commercial solution for a user immediately,” Somnath said.

The chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) refused to give a timeline for the launch of the ‘intelligent' GSATs.


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