India’s heaviest and most-advanced communication satellite GSAT-11, also called the "Big Bird", was successfully launched into space on December 5, 2018 from the Spaceport in French Guiana, South America.
The satellite will help provide satellite-based internet to remote places where cable-based internet cannot reach. The satellite, weighing 5854 kg, is the heaviest Indian-made equipment that has been put into the orbit.
Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the GSAT-11 was launched on the Ariane 5 VA-246 rocket from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana.
The Ariane 5 also lifted off South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellites. Ariane 5 is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace along with Soyuz and Vega.
GSAT-11: Boost the broadband connectivity
The 5854-kg GSAT-11 will provide high data rate connectivity to Indian mainland and islands users through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band.
With 32 Ku-band transponders and 8 Ka-band hubs on board, GSAT-11 would be three to six times more powerful than any other ISRO's satellite.
GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programme. The Bharat Net Project aims to enhance the public welfare schemes like e-banking, e-health, e-governance, among others.
The satellite will help meet India’s growing mobile and internet usage in households, businesses and public organizations.
When GSAT-11 would become operational?
• After a 30-minute flight, GSAT-11 separated from the Ariane 5 in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The achieved orbit was very close to the intended one.
• Post-separation, ISRO's Master Control Facility in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-11.
• The scientists will now undertake phase-wise orbit-raising manoeuvres to place the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit (36000 km above the equator) using its on-board propulsion systems.
• GSAT-11 will be positioned at 74-degree east longitude in the geostationary orbit.
• Two solar arrays and four antenna reflectors of GSAT-11 will be deployed in orbit.
• The satellite will be operational after the successful completion of all in-orbit tests.