“The multi-object tracking radar has been installed. It has to undergo trials. Once the trials are satisfactory then it will be ready for use,” M.Y.S. Prasad, director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, told reporters.
The radar can track around 10 objects simultaneously and can keep track of space debris so that a satellite’s direction could be altered to avoid collision with these objects, including asteroids.
In addition, the Indian space agency is exploring the possibility of having ion propulsion system to power its future satellites, the way NASA’s DAWN spacecraft was put into years of space space journey to Ceres.
ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre director K.Sivan said: “In order to reduce the satellite mass, we are looking at ion propulsion system.” Currently, the satellite fuel occupy space and make it heavy.
The other option ISRO’s centre is looking at is a semi-cryogenic engine. Sivan said the centre has tested the ISRO developed cryogenic engine for 20 seconds, and the duration of the tests will be increased in the future.
India’s heavy rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-MkIII in future will be powered by the cryogenic engine.
In addition, ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation has signed an agreement with a US company to launch one of its small satellites.
On Saturday, ISRO launched the fourth navigation satellite IRNSS-1D successfully, joining India among the top 5 players in the world with their own GPS systems — US, Russia, Europe, China and Japan.
(With inputs from IANS)