Different Types of ISRO’s Satellites Explained

Different Types of ISRO’s Satellites Explained

You may have heard news about ISRO launching a weather observatory called INSAT-3DR using a GSLV-F05 rocket. If all this technical jargon is unfamiliar to you, don’t worry. We will explain the meanings of these terms and the various types of satellites. This way, the next time ISRO accomplishes something impressive, you can impress your friends with your knowledge.

Dissecting the Structure

Let’s clarify a few things right from the start. We need rockets to launch objects into space. These rockets need to be powerful and burn fuel in order to propel heavy objects, such as artificial satellites, out of our atmosphere and into space. ISRO utilizes GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles) to launch their satellites.

INSAT is the abbreviation for Indian National Satellite, a communication satellite system.

These satellites are the INSAT class. INSAT stands for Indian National Satellite and is a communication satellite system that provides services to telecommunications, television broadcasting, satellite newsgathering, societal applications, weather forecasting, disaster warning, and search and rescue operations.

That’s all there is to it, really. A rocket propelling a satellite. But how are these satellites classified? Let’s go a step further.

The Rocket

GSLV is a fancy word for a rocket that launches a satellite to orbit Earth. The term Geosynchronous will be clearer when we discuss satellites. A typical GSLV rocket is a multistage rocket that operates in 3 stages. Let’s examine these stages.

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In the first stage, the rocket burns gases to gain velocity and overcome Earth’s gravitational force. The rocket and satellite are launched vertically in this stage and quickly leave Earth’s atmosphere.

Different Types of ISRO’s Satellites Explained

The second stage begins when the rocket burner detaches from the main structure. At this time, the structure tilts to align with Earth’s orbit. In the 3rd and final stage, the 2nd part detaches and the satellite is launched in space, with the last tilt enabling it to move parallel to Earth.

India is part of countries that have developed their own rockets to launch satellites. America had Saturn rockets, Russia has N1, Japan has the H II A, and China has Long March 3B. Each is built for specific payloads.

Different Types of ISRO’s Satellites Explained

That’s all you need to know about rockets. Now, let’s move on to satellites.

Two Basic Types: Geostationary & Polar Satellites

Geostationary Satellites

Think of stationary satellites in the night sky. Their speed of revolving around Earth is the exact same as Earth’s rotation. These satellites move from West to East at a speed of about 3.08 kms/sec and are used for communications, broadcasting, and search and rescue operations.

Different Types of ISRO’s Satellites Explained

Whenever news about an INSAT satellite arises, it refers to this type of satellite. INSAT is categorized into various types of satellites, similar to different versions of flagship phones. For more information, refer to ISRO’s INSAT classification page.

A slight variation of a geostationary satellite is the geosynchronous satellite. In practical applications, there is not much difference between the two. However, the geostationary orbit is located in the equatorial plane without any inclination, whereas the geosynchronous orbital plane can have an inclination with the equatorial plane.

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Polar Satellites

Geostationary satellites move around the Earth’s equator, while Polar satellites orbit the poles for various purposes such as spying, surveillance, and weather predictions. They orbit closer to Earth than geostationary satellites.

Different Types of ISRO’s Satellites Explained

ISRO has successfully launched several PSLV satellites, including the latest PSLV-34/CARTOSAT-2 Series Satellite. Given that it was developed in the early 1990s, the number of PSLV launches is impressive.

In Orbit

That’s all you need to know about satellite classifications. Their workings might be covered in a separate post. Let us know which part of satellite communication is confusing for you. We’d like to cover only the specific areas you’re unsure about. Feel free to use the comments section to reach out and ask your questions.

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