To boost the PM Narendra Modi’s “digital India” campaign, ISRO will be launching several new “spot beam satellites”, which focus mainly on improving the internet connectivity and speed in specific geographic locations within the next 18 months.
ISRO will launch three communication satellites namely, GSTA-19, GSAT-11 and GSTA-20, according to reports. The first, GSAT-19 will be launched by GSLVMk III. A GSAT satellite is capable of supporting one gigabyte of data transfer per second, which means the GSAT-19 will be able to transfer data at four gigabyte per second, making it equivalent to four satellites.
The other two satellites GSAT-11 and GSAT-20 will be launched in 2018.
“We will launch three communication satellites. GSAT-19 in June and GSAT-11 and GSAT-20 thereafter. Isro’s next-generation launch vehicle boosted by an indigenous cryogenic engine that is capable of carrying a four-tonne satellite to the geosynchronous transfer orbit.
These satellites will use multiple spot beams (a special kind of transponder that operates on a high frequency) that will increase internet speed and connectivity. These multiple spot beams will cover the entire country,” said ISRO chairman Dr Kiran Kumar, interacting with media persons.
Tapan Misra, the Director of ISRO’s space application Centre said, “These new satellites, once operational, will be capable of providing high-quality internet, phone and video services. GSAT-11, which is heavier than GSAT-19, will be launched by the year-end and will use 16 beams. It will be able to transfer data at the rate of 13 gigabytes per second. GSAT-20, will use 40 beams. Each beam will have two polarisations, which will effectively make them 80 beams. This satellite will have data rate of 60-70 gigabytes/sec”. He said the satellite will use 8 beams, and can deliver speeds up to 8 GB per second.
These launches will revolutionise the way we use television and smartphones, but also drive the future communication needs of smart cities.