We now know exact location of GSAT-6A satellite: Isro chief
NEW DELHI: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) now knows the exact location of communication satellite GSAT-6A with which the signal link got snapped soon after its launch from Sriharikota on March 29.
"With the help of the satellite tracking system and other sources, we now know the exact location of GSAT-6A. Earlier, we were searching in the dark. But now we know the exact position of the satellite and keeping a close watch on its movement round-the-clock. We are hopeful that at a particular orientation, it will capture the signal from the ground station and communication will be restored. Currently, GSAT-6A is moving in the geo transfer orbit at perigee of around 26,000km and apogee of about 33,000km," Times of India reported Isro chairman Dr K Sivan as saying.
On the power front, Dr Sivan said, "We expect that the satellite has the power as its solar panels are fully deployed and getting recharged." He said, "Currently, two teams are working simultaneously in Isro. One is busy restoring the link with GSAT-6A and the other in preparation of the launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I on Thursday." IRNSS-1I, the eighth satellite to join the constellation of navigation satellites, will be launched at 4.04am on Thursday from Sriharikota by PSLV-C41 and the countdown will start from Tuesday night.
On addition of any new safety mechanism in IRNSS-1I to avoid power failure, the chairman said, "Power systems used in GSAT-6A and IRNSS-1I are totally different. The power system being used in IRNSS-1I is very simple and proven as all seven navigation satellites launched earlier are working successfully."
IRNSS-1I is being launched to replace first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A, whose three Rubidium atomic clocks (meant to measure precise locatioal data) had stopped working two years ago. The launch of the first replacement satellite IRNSS-1H on August 31 last year was a failure as the satellite got stuck in the heat shield soon after its launch.
Dr Sivan said, "The glitch in the heat shield opening has been sorted out... showed the improved system for the heat shield opening mechanism is working fine."