ISRO's 'Fast Track' satellite to provide rural connectivity

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Bangalore, Nov 19: One more contribution has been planned by the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) for the masses. This time it is for the rural masses. ISRO will now go ahead with the launch of the Fast Track satellite to provide rural connectivity. ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said the four-tone satellite was likely to be the last satellite to be launched which will ride on a Ariane launch vehicle from Kouru French Guyana and this would be achieved in the next two years time.

Speaking to sources, he said the ISRO was in final stages of developing the Cryogenic engine and flight test would take place next year. These powerful engines can carry above four tone satellite into the space.

For the INSAT series ISRO had been dependent on the French space agency while it had already mastered up to two tone capacity PSLV technology through which Chandayaan-1 was launched last month.

"Yes. Fast Track, is likely to be the last launch of an Indian satellite from foreign soil. We should be ready with the GSLV Mark-III using Cryogenic engine next year. I hope by the end of 2011 the first GSLV will be launched," he said.

Mr Nair said Fast Track, one among the INSAT series.

"If you take the country, even today more than 30,000 villages do not have proper connectivity. With conventional type of satellite we cannot meet the requirement. So we have to go for spot beams and high band width capacities has to be built up. We have taken up the job on priority basis as rural connectivity is very important for the country," he said.

He said this satellite would work on spot beam technique and would have an all India beam. "Spot beam covers different parts of the country and through a central hub is will be connected to national transmission," he added.

To track the satellite Villages will have to have internet connections. Agricultural advises like it was done in the earlier INSAT series would be provided, he added.

On satellite-based navigation system over the Indian airspace for civil aviation called 'GAGAN', being implemented by ISRO and the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Mr Nair said the first phase has been successfully completed. ''The results are extremely good. We were able to get the accuracies of the order of a few metres which is sufficient for landing and things like that'', he said.

''Now, (in) the operational phase, we have to establish a more number of (reference) stations. That I think AAI has already submitted a report and Cabinet has cleared that. Around Rs 500 crore investment, and we will be starting the work, In about two years, that system should be in place'', Nair said.

The space segment of GAGAN is in the form of an electronic device that works on two frequencies and well matched with GPS (GlobalPositioning System).


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