Indian Space Program: News & Discussions

Gautam

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Donald Trump India visit: India and US strategic partnership in space and the need for SSA agreement

By: Huma Siddiqui | Published: February 14, 2020 7:43:21 PM

Recently, the US-based Raytheon inked a contract with ISRO Satellite Centre for the ground-based elements of the global positioning system (GPS). The contract includes a geostationary earth orbit augmented navigation technology demonstration system (GAGAN-TDS).

There have been three space security dialogues, which is a good start, but space should also be incorporated in larger strategic and 2+2 discussions.

The United States and India, both major space powers, have long worked together on civil space efforts but have not done much in regards to security space cooperation. According to Victoria Samson, Washington Office Director, Secure World Foundation, “This is a real missed opportunity, as each country has a lot to offer the other in terms of shoring up their national security and the stability of the space domain overall. Space has been a force multiplier for the United States for decades and is now considered to be a war-fighting domain. India has not yet adopted that terminology, but is shifting its space efforts to include those with more military goals and objectives, and is increasingly giving more authority for space programs to its Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).”

One way in which for the two to cooperate is through space situational awareness (SSA) agreement. “As of April 2019, STRATCOM (Strategic Command) had signed 100 SSA sharing agreements with 20 countries, two intergovernmental organizations, and 78 commercial owner/operators, but India is not one of those countries. Signing an agreement with India should be made a priority by STRATCOM leadership, particularly given that India is laying the groundwork for its own SSA network and also because of India’s growing prominence in launching multiple satellites at one time,” Samson says.

According to her, space should become a regular part of the bilateral discussions between the United States and India on security issues. There have been three space security dialogues, which is a good start, but space should also be incorporated in larger strategic and 2+2 discussions.

“Finally, it is so crucial for both the development and evolution of India’s space programme and for the US-India relationship in space that the Indian government formalize a national space policy and/or strategy, as that will expedite strategic partnership in space between the two countries,” concludes Samson.

India-US Space Cooperation

The top US companies including Boeing and Raytheon are in talks with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Says Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India (BDI), told Financial Express Online “We are proud of India’s recent strides in space exploration and ambitions towards human space flights by end of 2021. It is a testimony to the country’s innovation, determination and full embrace of the challenges of space. Notwithstanding our six decades of space experience, Boeing is inspired by what India has achieved and it’s aspirations for the future. We look forward to partnering with ISRO in their endeavours.”

Recently, the US-based Raytheon inked a contract with ISRO Satellite Centre for the ground-based elements of the global positioning system (GPS). The contract includes a geostationary earth orbit augmented navigation technology demonstration system (GAGAN-TDS).

GAGAN-TDS will help in civil navigation through use of the space-based augmentation system. The GAGAN which has been endorsed by the International Civil Aviation Organization is expected to augmenting the standard positioning signals from GPS satellites. As part of the agreement between Raytheon and ISRO, the US Company is going to develop the hardware and software for the ground-based elements of GAGAN.

https://www.financialexpress.com/de...space-and-the-need-for-ssa-agreement/1868433/
 

Gautam

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Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) :
The objective of RLV is to demonstrate technologies for developing a wing body vehicle similar to that of an aircraft. RLV will ascent to orbit, stay there, re-enter and land on a runway like an aeroplane. The technology has the challenges of meeting the complexities of both the launch vehicle and aircraft.​
RLV Landing Experiment :
It is planned for the last quarter of 2019. RLV wing body will be carried using a helicopter and released at a distance of ~4-5 km ahead of the runway with a horizontal velocity. The RLV will glide, navigate towards the runway and land autonomously with a landing gear in an air field near Chitradurga in Karnataka. Control and Guidance design and all structural designs were completed. RLV flight hardware has been realised. Structural test of RLV Engineering Model has been completed. RLV Interface System (RIS) for interfacing with helicopter and Qualification Model of landing gear were realised​

President Shri Ramanath Kovind inaugurated SVAB on 14 jul 2019 !! ISRO pulled a sneaky one there.
Two PetaFLOPS Supercomputing Facility : Aiming for April 2020 readiness.
On SSA cooperation : ISRO is currently in the process of signing an MoU with USSPACECOM for “Cooperation in Safety of Spaceflight and Provision of SSA Services and Information”.
 

Gautam

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ISRO To Launch An Unprecedented 10 Earth Imaging-Spy Satellites

By Madhumathi D. S.
Sunday, February 16, 2020

They include new categories such as first Geo Imaging Satellite

BANGALORE: The country will send up an unusually large number of 10 earth observation (EO) satellites during 2020-21, according to the latest annual report of the Indian Space Research Organisation for 2019-20.

On a quick look, such a preponderance of the EO launches is unprecedented and includes new categories such as the first Geo Imaging Satellite, GISAT-1.

In comparison, only three communication satellites — which is another major category in space infrastructure — and two navigation satellites are planned for the coming financial year starting April.

The annual plan mentions 36 missions, another high for a year, these includes both satellites and their launchers.

The high number also stands out amidst the immediate two years before and after the plan. For the ongoing fiscal, ISRO had proposed launching six EO satellites, of which two are due to go. For 2021-22, the plan is to add eight EO satellites.

ISRO says 19 national EO satellites, 18 communication satellites and eight navigation satellites are in service, driving uses from broadcasting, telephony, Internet services, weather and agriculture-related forecasting, security, disaster-time rescue and relief and location-based services. Three of the communication satellites are dedicated for military communication and networking.

In the ongoing fiscal 2019-20, 17 missions have been planned to be launched and up to six of them are due to be completed by March 31, it says.

ISRO was recently given a budget of nearly ₹13,480 crore for the next fiscal.

The EO sats are ostensibly for benign uses such as land and agriculture watch. But their images also have a very important use for the military, for keeping an eye on the borders. The satellites such as RISATs, which carry a synthetic aperture radar on them, provide all-weather, 24-hour information to security agencies.

Apart from GISAT-1 that is apparently fixed over the subcontinent at an orbit 36,000 km high, the space agency plans to launch a new series of high resolution HRSATs as a threesome on a single PSLV launcher.

The upcoming EO satellites include radar imaging satellites RISAT-2BR2, RISAT- 1A and 2A; OCEANSAT-3 and RESOURCESAT-3/3S.

The RISAT-2BR2 will form a triad fleet with its predecessors RISAT-2B and RISAT-2B1, all going around 120 degrees apart. They will “increase the frequency of observation in the areas of interest to provide all-weather, day/night imaging services from space,” the report said.

ISRO to launch an unprecedented 10 earth imaging satellites
 

RISING SUN

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Upgraded GMRT opens up space for path-breaking discoveries, says Yashwant Gupta
The upgradation work of the world’s largest low-frequency radio telescope, Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) located at Narayangaon around 80km from Pune, is now complete. The work which began in 2014 and completed in 2019, will help provide missing answers to the history of the universe as the new capabilities would grant GMRT access to a plethora of space imagery.

The GMRT is built and operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA)-Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) .

Explaining the need of the upgrade to the common man, officials of NCRA said that it has helped improved the sensitivity of the observatory by three times, making it capable of detecting much fainter and faraway sources in the vast expanse of the universe, hence, looking at a new wave of discoveries.

Explaining the technicalities of the upgrade, Yashwant Gupta, centre director, NCRA, said, “We have modified the entire receiver system, the electronics and hardware that process data and the corresponding software which handles a higher volume of data.The new upgrades will allow exploring a wider range of frequencies. With the upgraded GMRT, it is possible to adjust the configuration to look at any desired frequency in the range of 100 megahertz to 1,500 megahertz. In order to work on a higher frequency, we needed a major technological change. Earlier, our receiver could extract only 32 megahertz, however, with the new technology in place, it can now extract a maximum of 400 megahertz. This increase in capability is due to the upgradation.”

In order to handle high frequencies, one needs to handle the receiving data, hence the control room functioning needs to be upgraded in order to process it. Finally, when you are making the image, the volume of data you are handling is much larger, so the software needs to be more sophisticated, even to store that data you need a larger storage. New findings can now be expected more frequently, and the upgrade is expected to usher in a new wave of discoveries,” added Gupta.

About GMRT

There are 30 fully steerable antennas of 45 metre diameter each in ‘Y’ shape spread over 25 km region of land here at GMRT. Govind Swarup, a global pioneer of radio astronomy is the man behind building the GMRT, while it started its routine operations in 2000. The telescope has been in operation in the international arena for over a decade now, and is used by astronomers from all over the world, with more than 50 per cent of users coming from outside India.

A star is born

A team of astronomers at NCRA , on January 3, discovered a ’mysterious’ ring of hydrogen gas around a distant galaxy, using the GMRT. The ring is much bigger than the galaxy it surrounds and has a diametre about four times that of our Milky Way, according to NCRA researchers. The galaxy discovered (named AGC 203001), is located about 260 million light-years away from earth. Omkar Bait, the lead author of the study who along with prof Yogesh Wadadekar, and five others – all co-authors – were part of the study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Upgraded GMRT opens up space for path-breaking discoveries, says Yashwant Gupta
 

Gautam

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