ISRO has postponed the launch of its fourth navigation satellite IRNSS-1D scheduled for launch around March 9 just ahead of the clearance for board after anomaly found in its telemetry transmitters at the last minute.
The entire system was put through a full test on Tuesday, March 3 and the glitch was noticed during the integrated electrical checks of the rocket with the satellite after its heat shield was closed on Tuesday at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
In a swift statement, ISRO said, “The launch of India’s fourth Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1D onboard PSLV-C27 was originally scheduled for March 09, 2015 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. During the integrated electrical checks of Launch Vehicle along with Satellite after the closure of heat shield on March 03, 2015, an anomaly was observed in one of the telemetry transmitters of the Satellite. In order to resolve the technical anomaly through further test, simulation and analysis, the launch of PSLV-C27 with IRNSS-1D has been postponed,” without giving further details.
The state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) may take time before moving further to get clearance from the Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) that was also put off in view of the current problem. Otherwise, the scheduled date for launch was March 9 or next Monday but now it may not be launched before March 15.
A new date for the satellite’s launch will be set once the glitch is rectified. “The glitch is with one of the transmitters in the satellite,” M.Y.S. Prasad, SDSC director told IANS over phone. He said the electrical checks were carried out after the 1,425 kg satellite was mated with the rocket and the heat shield was closed.
Now the satellite has to be dismounted from the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-27 rocket and movd back to its testing location where it will be rectified.
The fourth of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) satellite-IRNSS-1D, weighing 1,425 kg, will be put in geosynchronous orbit of the Earth by the PSLV-27 and it is expected to have a lifespan of 10 years.
Moreover, the 4th satellite would virtually complete the cycle of India’s efforts to have own satellite navigation system with three more satellites in queue for launch later this year. With IRNSS, India will also join other four countries with their own navigation systems — the Global Positioning System (GPS) of the US, Glonass of Russia, Galileo of Europe, Beidou of China and Quasi Zenith satellite system of Japan.
Built at a cost of Rs.150 crore, the IRNSS-1D satellite was to be launched on the PSLV-27 that was built with Rs.130 crore. The entire project of all seven IRNSS satellites was undertaken at around Rs.910 crore.
The first satellite IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013, the second IRNSS-1B in April 2014 and the third one on October 16, 2014. Once the IRNSS-1d is launched this hopefully month, three more satellites will be launched in quick succession this year, as part of ISRO plan to launch 10 satellites in 2015.
The IRNSS satellites provide unencrypted standard positioning service to the public and encrypted service to restricted government and research agencies. Of the 7 satellites to be launched under the project, three will be in geo-stationary and four in inclined geosynchronous orbit. Two more satellites will be on the ground as stand-by.
Some applications of IRNSS satellites include:
Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
Vehicle tracking and fleet management
Integration with mobile phones
Mapping and Geodetic data capture
Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
Visual and voice navigation for drivers.