To be orbited along with the European Alphasat telecommunications spacecraft on July 25, INSAT-3D will provide enhanced meteorological observation and the monitoring of land/ocean surfaces with its six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder. Also installed on the Indian spacecraft is a data relay transponder, along with a payload to assist in satellite-aided search and rescue operations.
Developed by the country’s space agency – the Indian Space Research Organisation, along with its Space Applications Centre – this satellite is adapted from India’s I-2K spacecraft bus. Once fueled, INSAT-3D will have an estimated liftoff mass of 2,090 kg.
Pre-launch activities with INSAT-3D in French Guiana have included a solar array test deployment, along with a fit-check on the adapter that will serve as the interface with Ariane 5. This week, the satellite was transferred within the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation center – moving from its previous location in the S5C large processing hall to the S5B hall, where the fueling will be carried out.
Arianespace’s upcoming mission with INSAT-3D and Alphasat will be its third Ariane 5 liftoff at the Spaceport in 2013, and is designated VA214 to signify the 214th launch of an Ariane-series vehicle.
Other Arianespace flights performed so far this year from French Guiana with the company’s three-member launcher family were one mission each of medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega vehicles. Completing the activity was a Soyuz flight from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, performed by the Starsem affiliate of Arianespace.
INSAT-3D undergoes its fit-check with the cone-shaped device that will serve the satellite’s interface with Ariane 5 (photo top). This activity occurred in the Spaceport S5 payload preparation center’s S5C processing hall, and was followed by INSAT-3D’s internal transfer to the S5B zone for fueling.
Last night three tonnes of propellants were loaded into Alphasat, completing fuelling operations and almost doubling the total weight of the satellite in the process.
In addition to its xenon ion thrusters, Alphasat sports a bipropellant propulsion system powered by monomethyl hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide. These are hazardous chemicals and must be handled carefully to ensure the safety of both personnel and the satellite.
The fuelling by a specialist team in protective suits from Thales Alenia Space took place in the S5 Hazardous Processing Facility at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Fuelling follows a strict procedure and is monitored from a remote control room by video and voice link. After loading, the propellants are pressurised by helium ready for launch.
The next step is to mate Alphasat with the launcher adaptor and move it to the Final Assembly Building, where it will be encapsulated in the Ariane 5 fairing, ready for integration and launch on 25 July.
Alphasat and INSAT-3D are fueled for Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight from French Guiana on July 25
The two satellite passengers for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission are being fueled at the Spaceport, preparing them for a July 25 liftoff on the company’s fifth flight in 2013 from French Guiana with its launcher family.
Utilizing the capacity and flexibility of the Spaceport’s large S5 payload preparation facility, the Indian INSAT-3D meteorological platform is receiving its fuel load in the S5B hall, while Europe’s Alphasat telecommunications spacecraft is undergoing a “top-off” in the separate S5A hall.
Alphasat is fueled in the S5A hall of the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility, while INSAT-3D receives its fuel load in the S5B hall.
Alphasat is the largest European telecommunications satellite ever built, with a mass exceeding 6.6 metric tons when fueled. It also is the first to use the Alphabus spacecraft bus – the result of a coordinated European response to the increased market demand for larger telecommunication payloads.
Once in orbit, Alphasat will expand the U.K.-based Inmarsat operator’s global mobile telecommunication network – delivering new capabilities in terms of performance and resource availability, providing 50 percent more accessible spectrum with double spectral efficiency and nearly 20 percent more channels. The satellite was built by Astrium, and its solar array will span nearly 40 meters once deployed in orbit, generating more than 12 kW of power.
The Alphasat mission was developed in the largest public–private partnership biggest of its kind, involving Inmarsat and the European Space Agency. This will provide the capacity to handle more than 750 channels in L-band, with improved quality – particularly for satellite phone users. When in service, Alphasat will augment Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, enabling communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East with increased capacity.
Alphasat will ride in Ariane 5’s upper payload position, while the INSAT-3D co-passenger is to be accommodated in the lower portion of the payload “stack.” Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) – the country’s space agency, along with its Space Applications Centre – INSAT-3D is to provide enhanced meteorological observation and the monitoring of land/ocean surfaces with a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder.
Also integrated on the Indian spacecraft is a data relay transponder, along with a payload to assist in satellite-aided search and rescue operations. INSAT-3D will have a mass at liftoff of approximately 2,100 kg.
Arianespace’s July 25 mission is designated Flight VA214 to signify the 214th launch of an Ariane-series vehicle from French Guiana. It follows the company’s launcher family missions already performed at the Spaceport in 2013 by two other heavy-lift Ariane 5s, along with one mission each of medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega vehicles. Complementing the activity during the first half of 2013 was a Soyuz flight from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, performed by the Starsem affiliate of Arianespace.
INSAT-3D is installed on Ariane 5 for Arianespace's July 25 heavy-lift mission
This photo, taken in the upper levels of the Spaceport’s Ariane 5 Final Assembly Building, shows INSAT-3D as it is installed atop the heavy-lift vehicle’s core
Ariane Flight VA214
Final payload integration is underway for Arianespace’s next heavy-lift flight, with the INSAT-3D weather satellite now integrated atop its Ariane 5 launcher at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
This Indian spacecraft is installed in the lower payload position for Ariane 5’s dual-passenger mission, which is set for liftoff on July 25 along with Europe’s Alphasat telecommunications relay platform.
INSAT-3D’s mating occurred in the upper levels of the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5. The satellite is adapted from India’s I-2K spacecraft bus and has a liftoff mass of approximately 2,100 kg. It was developed by the country’s Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) space agency with its ISRO Space Applications Centre.
Carrying a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder, INSAT-3D will provide enhanced meteorological observation and the monitoring of land/ocean surfaces. The satellite also carries a data relay transponder, as well as a system to assist in satellite-aided search and rescue operations.
INSAT-3D’s co-passenger for the upcoming Ariane 5 flight is the 6,650-kg. Alphasat satellite, which is one of the most sophisticated commercial communications spacecraft ever built. Developed by Astrium, it is configured with an advanced, new-generation L-band geo-mobile communications relay system to augment Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service provided by the U.K.-based telecommunications operator Inmarsat – enabling increased-capacity communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Alphasat is the result of a large-scale public-private partnership involving Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA), and represents the first flight model of Europe’s new Alphabus high capacity satellite platform. It will ride in the upper position of Ariane 5’s payload “stack.”
The July 25 mission with Ariane 5 – designated Flight VA214 in its launcher family numbering system – will be Arianespace’s third heavy-lift launch in 2013 from the Spaceport. In addition, Arianespace has conducted one mission each at French Guiana of the medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega members of its launcher family. Complementing the activity in the first half of 2013 was a Soyuz flight from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, performed by the Starsem affiliate of Arianespace.
July 22, 2013 – Ariane Flight VA214
It is a tradition for satellite passengers on Arianespace missions to be accompanied by their logos on a launch vehicle’s payload fairing during the first minutes of flight – and this week’s Ariane 5 mission with Alphasat and INSAT-3D is no exception.
During recent activity in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5, a decal with the logo for Inmarsat – which will operate the Alphasat spacecraft once in orbit – was positioned on the fairing’s upper portion.
Below it is a horizontal band of symbols for INSAT-3D: the Indian flag; the Indian Space Research Organisation’s logo, along with India’s national emblem based on the Lion Capital of Ashoka; and the INSAT-3D name written in Sanskrit and English.
Also included on the fairing are logos for the European Space Agency (ESA), UK Space Agency and the French CNES space agency – all representing the partnership that backed Alphasat’s development.
Alphasat carries an advanced, new-generation L-band geo-mobile communications relay system to augment Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, enabling increased-capacity communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It also is configured with four technology demonstration payloads for ESA.
As Europe’s largest telecommunications satellite ever built, Alphasat is the result of a public-private partnership with ESA and Inmarsat, evolved under ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program. The UK Space Agency –with the support of the UK’s Regional Development Agencies for London, South-East England and East of England – was instrumental in making Alphasat a reality by supporting the development of critical new payload technologies under the ESA ARTES program.
Alphasat is the first of a new satellite bus design for high-power communications relay platforms – designated Alphabus – developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space. The CNES space agency was in charge of defining this product line and participating in developing certain equipment within French industry. CNES brought its expertise in integrating a variety of partnerships between agencies and industry, while also providing its experience in guiding the development of complex and innovative systems.
Its INSAT-3D co-passenger on Ariane 5 will provide enhanced meteorological observation and the monitoring of land/ocean surfaces with a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder. In addition, the Indian spacecraft caries a data relay transponder along with a payload to assist in satellite-aided search and rescue operations.
The Ariane 5 liftoff with Alphasat and INSAT-3D is set for a July 25 at the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch complex. Designated Flight VA214, this mission will have a duration of just under 33 minutes. The launch vehicle’s payload fairing – which also includes the Arianespace corporate logo – will protect Ariane 5’s two satellite passengers during its ascent through the denser layers of the atmosphere, and will be jettisoned at 3 min., 17 sec. into the flight.
The Ariane 5 with Alphasat and INSAT-3D nears its final location on the launch pad to complete this morning’s rollout at the Spaceport.
Ariane 5 is in the launch zone for Arianespace’s heavy-lift mission with Alphasat and INSAT-3D
July 24, 2013 – Ariane Flight VA214
Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission with the Alphasat and INSAT-3D satellites is on track for liftoff tomorrow following the workhorse heavy-lift vehicle’s rollout to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch complex in French Guiana.
Mounted on the first of two large mobile launch tables in service for Ariane 5, the vehicle emerged from its Final Assembly Building this morning at 11:10 a.m. local time and arrived on the pad 40 minutes later – covering the distance at a speed of approximately 3 km./hr.
The launcher has India’s INSAT-3D satellite installed in the lower position of its payload “stack,” with Europe’s Alphasat as the upper passenger.
The launch window opens at 4:53 p.m. and continues until 6:11 p.m. After liftoff, the flight sequence will last nearly 33 minutes, with Alphasat deployed at just under 28 minutes after launch, followed by the separation of INSAT-3D five minutes later.
Alphasat is Europe’s largest telecommunications satellite ever manufactured and results from a large-scale public-private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Inmarsat. Built by prime contractor Astrium, it is the first flight model of Europe’s Alphabus high-capacity satellite platform, configured with a new-generation L-band geo-mobile mobile communication relay system and four technology demonstration payloads for ESA.
INSAT-3D was developed by India’s Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) space agency and its ISRO Space Applications Centre, designed to provide meteorological observation and monitoring of land/ocean surfaces. The satellite is equipped with a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder, as well as a data relay transponder and a payload for satellite-aided search and rescue operations.
Tomorrow’ mission – designated Flight VA214 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system – will be the 214th launch since operations began with the Ariane series of vehicles in 1979, as well as the 70th flight for the heavy-lift Ariane 5 version.
Update: Frams - arianespace-Start-Video
ISRO panel to probe anomalous behaviour of Insat-3DISRO officials faced anxious moments as the spacecraft was "untraceable" for some time before it could be tracked by the space agency's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan
he Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has constituted a committee chaired by a retired top official to probe the "anomalies" on the country's advanced weather satellite Insat-3D immediately after its launch on July 26.
ISRO officials faced anxious moments as the spacecraft was "untraceable" for some time before it could be tracked by the space agency's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan. "A committee headed by T K Alex, a former Director of ISRO Satellite Centre, has been formed to look into the issue," an ISRO source said.
It's immediately not clear if the primary system had suffered damage, and if it had implications vis-a-vis intended life of the spacecraft. Sources said the remaining critical operations were carried out using redundant system.
Meanwhile, ISRO said in a statement today that the Insat-3D, launched by European consortium Arianespace's rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, has successfully been placed in a geosynchronous orbit after three orbit raising manoeuvres commanded from MCF. "Though there was an anomalous behaviour of the satellite after the deployment of its solar panel,the Mission Operations Team of ISRO could immediately bring the Satellite into normalcy using prescribed contingency procedures and then resume the orbit-raising operations," ISRO said.
Insat-3D is now moving towards its final geostationary orbital location of 82 degree East longitude and on August 6 it will reach it, it said. Subsequently, the two meteorological payloads (imaging system and atmospheric sounder), as well as the two transponders (of the Meteorological Data Relay and Satellite-aided Search and Rescue system) would be activated by August 8, the ISRO statement said.