A Report on
ISRO’s technological advancements
• K.GAUTHAM REDDY
A Report prepared in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the course
EEE F472: SATELLITE COMMUNICATION
Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani
In 1960's, a common man like us thought of something brilliant across the
wavelets of that time that involved the culture of space in it. In the midst of the initial
take off into the WORLD OF SPACE, it was DR.VIKRAM SARABHAI(the visionary leader),
who encouraged the masses to think of a visionary future for themselves, and for
INDIA's FUTURE GENERATION and envisioned that this powerful technology could play a
meaningful role in national development and solving the problems of common man.
Vikram sarabai was the founder of the first Indian space center named as Vikram sarabai
Space Center which is now known as Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO). He is
considered as the father of Indian Space Programme.
Dr. Vikram Sarabhai
(First chairman of ISRO)
(Present chairman of ISRO)
The space activities in INDIA started in the 1960's when the first advancements
took place at THUMBA. Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching station (TERLS) was the
first space station at Trivandrum which gave a true and energetic insight into INDIA's
capability of a stronghold nation in Space development. Thumba was primarily chosen
because of the geographical conditions that favored that area. It has the magnetic
equator overhead which completely necessitated the visionaries to implement their
ideas and dreams in this region.
Geographic location of Thumba
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is the primary space agency of
India. ISRO is amongst the largest government space agencies in the world. Its primary
objective is to advance space technology and use its applications for national benefit.
Established in 1969, ISRO superseded the erstwhile Indian National Committee for
Space Research (INCOSPAR). Headquartered in Bangalore, ISRO is under the
administrative control of the Department of Space, Government of India.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), over the years, established a
comprehensive network of ground stations to provide Telemetry, Tracking and
Command (TTC) support to Satellite and Launch vehicle missions. These facilities are
grouped under ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) with its
headquarters at Bangalore, Karnataka State, INDIA. ISTRAC has TTC ground stations at
Bangalore, Lucknow, SHAR (Sriharikota), Thiruvananthapuram, Port Blair Island, Brunei,
Biak (Indonesia) and Mauritius, meeting international standards. ISRO is under the
administrative control of the Department of Space, Government of India.
Thus, Indian Space program concentrated on achieving self-reliance and
developing capability to build and launch communication satellites for television
broadcast, telecommunications and meteorological applications; remote sensing
satellites for management of natural resources.
Objectives of ISRO:
1. ISRO is amongst the six largest government space agencies in the world, along
with USA's NASA, Russia's RKA, Europe's ESA, China's CNSA and Japan's JAXA. Its
primary objective is to advance space technology and use its applications for
national benefit. Accordingly, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has
successfully operationalized two major satellite systems namely Indian National
Satellites (INSAT) for communication services and Indian Remote Sensing (IRS)
satellites for management of natural resources; also, Polar Satellite Launch
Vehicle (PSLV) for launching IRS type of satellites and Geostationary Satellite
Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for launching INSAT type of satellites.
2. The main motto of Indian space research organization is Space technology in the
service of human kind.
3. India's economic progress has made its space program more visible and active as
the country aims for greater self-reliance in space technology.
4. The Chandrayaan-1 mission is aimed at high-resolution remote sensing of the
moon in visible, near infrared (NIR), low energy X-rays and high-energy X-ray
regions. Specifically the objectives are
To prepare a three-dimensional atlas (with high spatial and altitude
resolution of 5-10 m) of both near and far side of the moon.
To conduct chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface
for distribution of mineral and chemical elements such as Magnesium,
Aluminum, Silicon, Calcium, Iron and Titanium as well as high atomic
number elements such as Radon, Uranium & Thorium with high spatial
To realize the mission goal of harnessing the science payloads, lunar craft
and the launch vehicle with suitable ground support systems including
Deep Space Network (DSN) station.
To realize the integration and testing, launching and achieving lunar polar
orbit of about 100 km, in-orbit operation of experiments, communication/
telecomm and, telemetry data reception, quick look data and archival for
scientific utilization by scientists.
5) One of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the
technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an
interplanetary mission and the major objectives were
Design and realization of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform
Earth bound maneuvers, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture,
and on-orbit phase around Mars.
Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian
atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.
Different hierarchies in ISRO:
Technological Development during past :
From building the first experimental satellite Aryabhatta in 1975 to the world
class operational Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite series on the one hand and the
third generation communication satellite INSAT-3 on the other, is indeed an impressive
track record by any standards for the 30-year-old Indian Space Research Organization
Indian space Programme encompasses research in areas like astronomy,
astrophysics, planetary and earth sciences, atmospheric sciences and theoretical
physics. Balloons, sounding rockets, space platforms and ground-based facilities support
these research efforts. A series of sounding rockets are available for atmospheric
experiments. Several scientific instruments have been flown on satellites especially to
direct celestial X-ray and gamma-ray bursts
Since its establishment, ISRO has achieved numerous milestones. It built India's first
satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union in 1975. It was built by the
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to gain experience in building and operating
a satellite in space. A power failure halted experiments after four days in orbit with all
signals from the spacecraft lost after five days of operation. The satellite reentered the
Earth's atmosphere on 11 February 1992.In 1980, Rohini became the first satellite to be
placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. ISRO subsequently developed
two other rockets: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launching satellites into
polar orbits and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing
satellites into geostationary orbits. These rockets have launched numerous
communications satellites and earth observation satellite. In 2008, Chandrayaan-1,
India sent its first mission to the Moon.
India’s First Mission to Moon
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), informally called Mangalyaan, is a Mars
orbiter launched into Earth orbit on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research
Organization (ISRO) which is currently on-route to Mars.
India’s First Mission to Mars
Over the years, ISRO has conducted a variety of operations for both Indian and
foreign clients. ISRO's satellite launch capability is mostly provided by indigenous launch
vehicles and launch sites. Launch Vehicles are used to transport and put satellites or
space crafts into space. In India, the launch vehicles development Programme began in
the early 1970s. The first experimental Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) was developed in
1980. An Augmented version of this, ASLV, was launched successfully in 1992. India has
made tremendous strides in launch vehicle technology to achieve self-reliance in
satellite launch vehicle Programme with the operationalization of Polar Satellite Launch
Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
PSLV represents ISRO's first attempt to design and develop an operational vehicle that
can be used to orbit application satellites. While SLV-3 secured for India a place in the
community of space-faring nations, the ASLV provided the rites of passage into launch
vehicle technology for ISRO. And with PSLV, a new world-class vehicle has arrived. PSLV
has repeatedly proved its reliability and versatility by launching 64 satellites / space
crafts into a variety of orbits so far.
Achievements of ISRO in space:
India’s progress in space has been very systematic starting with experimental
satellites like Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, Apple and Rohini. It performed satellite application
experiments like SITE, STEP and Apple application programme. The operational space
services consist of INSAT system and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS). The Indian
Space Research Organization (ISRO) made a modest beginning in launch vehicles like
SLV-3, and ASLV. The first development flight of the indigenous Polar Satellite Launch
Vehicle (PSLV) was carried out in 1992 which could put 1,000 kg class remote sensing
satellite into 900 km polar sun-synchronous orbit.
India has acquired eminence in world class space science. It has mastered modern
space technology and its various applications for the benefit of society. New space
technology is being utilized for telecommunications, television broadcasts, weather
watch and for providing information relating to agriculture, forests, water resources and
minerals to mention a few.
The launch of the GSLV marks the beginning of a significant phase in launch vehicle
technology development for the Indian Space Research Organisation, which already has
an impressive record in the field of sophisticated satellite technology
In the past three decades ISRO has built an infrastructure sector of space
programme – construction and operation of satellites and their launch vehicles, ground
station and sensors. ISRO has also collaborated with other Indian institutions and over
250 private industries. Both private and public sectors manufacture a vanity of
equipment and materials – light alloy structure for inter-stages, motor cases, liquid
thrusters, propellant tanks, gas generation and electronic packages. The second launch
facility at Sriharikota at a cost of Rs.280 crore is under construction.
And also India became the first country to send 10 satellites on a single rocket(PSLV) in
2008.The figure below shows some of ISRO’s successes and failures
A REVIEW OF INDIA’S SPACE PROGRAM
Future plans, missions for new technology development:
Future plans include indigenous development of GSLV, manned space missions,
further lunar exploration, mars exploration and interplanetary probes. ISRO has several
field installations as assets, and cooperates with the international community as a part
of several bilateral and multilateral agreements.
ISRO is also planning to launch a series of remote sensing satellites with a variety
of applications including one solely dedicated to the field of astronomy.
Indian space scientists foresee several developments in the new millennium
when they can scale new heights. Revolutionary developments in the fields of
communication, information and micro- electronics are driving greater convergence and
forging new directions for aerospace programs. "Space would be a strong tool for
development in future" says Dr Kasturirangan. He is of the view that from development
of civil applications such as personal mobile communications at a global level and
management of natural disasters to futuristic vistas such as space power generation and
space tourism the new possibilities are unlimited.
ISRO’s new endeavor
Future Launch Vehicles:
i) The GSLV Mk III is conceived and designed to make ISRO fully self reliant in
launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4500 to 5000
kg. The vehicle envisages multi-mission launch capability for GTO, LEO, Polar and
intermediate circular orbits.
ii) Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD): As a first step
towards realizing a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully re-usable launch vehicle, a series of
technology demonstration missions have been conceived. For this purpose a Winged
Reusable Launch Vehicle technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) has been configured. The
RLV-TD will act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies viz., hypersonic
flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air
breathing propulsion. First in the series of demonstration trials is the hypersonic flight
Pre Project activities of Human Space Flight Mission Programme
The objective of Human Spaceflight Programme is to undertake a human
spaceflight mission to carry a crew of two to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and return them
safely to a predefined destination on earth. The programme is proposed to be
implemented in defined phases. Currently, the pre project activities are progressing with
a focus on the development of critical technologies for subsystems such as Crew Module
(CM), Environmental control and Life Support System (ECLSS), Crew Escape System, etc.
Indian Human Space Flight Programme
Future Space missions:
i) Chandrayaan-2 is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission
to Moon. ISRO’s capability to soft-land on the lunar surface will be demonstrated with
this mission. Chandrayaan-2 is configured as a two module system comprising of an
Orbiter Craft module (OC) and a Lander Craft module (LC) carrying the Rover developed
by ISRO. Both the modules are interfaced mechanically by an inter module adapter.
ii) Aditya-1 is a scientific mission designed to study solar corona. The major
scientific objectives of the proposed space solar coronagraph are to achieve a
fundamental understanding of the physical processes that (a) Heat the solar corona (b)
Accelerate the Solar Wind, and (c) Produce Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs).
The options are never ending. There's RADAR imaging, telecommunication related
activities and other hitherto of this revolutionary field that ISRO is looking forward to.
India’s experience has clearly shown that the investment in space always pays
through remote sensing and telecommunications. By being fully self-reliant in space
activities, it is certain that the resulting contribution from the space programme to the
Indian GDP will be markedly significant.