India poised to be major
player in global satellite manufacturing
Oct 29 (IANS) India can become a major player in the emerging
small satellite manufacturing industry. The country's space
agency has estimated a market potential of 50 satellites over
the next decade, worth around $1.5 billion, says a space official.
this in mind, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
has already formed a special team to manufacture small satellites.
will launch two such satellites in 2009 and 2010, both having
small satellites are now in demand because its "mass
and volume are low, thereby reducing the cost of carriage
by rocket. Further, the cost of building the satellite as
well as the time required to build it are less," D.V.
Raghava Murthy, ISRO's small satellite projects director,
satellites give a good performance owing to miniaturisation,
and simultaneous launch of several satellites is possible
if the orbit is same," he added.
has two small satellite variants - micro and mini.
micro satellites weigh 100 kg with a payload capacity of 30-40
kg while the mini satellites would weigh 400 kg with a payload
capacity of 200 kg.
is also making communication satellites - INSAT series. Its
INSAT-4 series satellites weigh around four tonnes and cost
about Rs.3 billion.
April this year, ISRO shot its first mini satellite - Indian
Mini Satellite (IMS-1) - weighing 85 kg on board the Polar
Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C9).
cost of IMS-1 was around Rs.500 million. The value of each
satellite would vary depending on its payload - the instruments
it would carry," Murthy said.
mini satellite has two high performance payloads - multi-spectral
camera and hyper-spectral camera. Injected into polar sun-synchronous
orbit, the satellite is providing good data," said the
52-year-old Murthy, who was the project director for Cartosat
I and IMS-1 satellites.
mini satellite too has advanced features.
miniaturisation technologies, developed for small satellites,
can be transplanted to bigger ones, thereby reducing their
weight," he added.
will launch its second micro satellite YOUTHSAT next year,
carrying two Indian payloads and one from Moscow University,
will also launch SARAL, a mini satellite with French payload
some time in 2010," Murthy said.
of the application potential of small satellites, he added:
"It is mind-boggling. They can be used in remote sensing,
atmospheric monitoring, gas detection, pollution monitoring,
ionospheric tomography, ocean monitoring and studies, low
earth orbit communications, stellar monitoring, space physics
experimentation, data collection and others."
small satellites will initially be flown as "co-passengers"
in the Indian rockets PSLV and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch
to Murthy, many space agencies are now involved in making
will be crossing swords with the Britain-based Surrey Satellite
Technology Ltd, OHB Germany, Canada's MDA and Comdev, Israel
Aerospace Industries, Orbital Sciences in the US, Thales Alenia
in Europe among others.
Indian space agency, having the necessary expertise in making
big communication satellites, hopes that it can supply satellites
to overseas players.
are targeting a revenue of around $60 million from manufacturing
satellites for others," K.R. Sridhara Murthi, executive
director of Antrix Corp Ltd, the commercial arm of the Indian
space agency, told IANS.
has built and delivered a 32 transponder satellite, W2M, weighing
3,200 kg for the Paris-based Eutelsat Communications.
order is from Europe's leading satellite system specialist
transponders supplied by a European manufacturer were assembled
at ISRO's satellite centre in Bangalore.
has won another contract from Avanti Screen Media, again through
EADS Astrium, to make a highly adoptable satellite.