As per information given to media by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the 3,423 kg GSat29 has a life span of 10 years and it is a multi-beam satellite that carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders. This will help meet the communication requirements. Also, many more new technologies such as Q/V-band payload, data transmission through optical communication link will be demonstrated.
The ISRO chairman K. Sivan commented after the launch: “The launch was one of the very important missions and a milestone for India’s space programme. This is GSLV-MkIII-D2 second developmental flight. It is going to launch very important and high throughput satellite GSAT-29. The satellite will be useful in Jammu and Kashmir and North East region for providing connectivity under the Centre’s Digital India programme.”
ISRO added that the newly launched satellite will act as a test bed for several new technologies. But the main job of the satellite is to cater to communication requirements of users from remote areas of the country. The communication satellite transponders can expand high-speed data transfer.
He said, "We have to achieve 10 missions before January 2019.That is six satellite missions as well as four launch vehicle missions.”
This is ISRO’s fifth launch this year. As per ISRO, the satellite launch is the second test flight for the GSLV Mark III rocket (popularly called as ‘Baahubali’), which is also ISRO’s heaviest rocket.
ISRO Chairman said: “This vehicle (GSLV-MkIII) is going to launch the Chandrayaan-II and also the manned mission. We are getting prepared for that.”
The same rocket will also be used for the manned space mission Gaganyaan. GSLV-Mk III is capable of launching 4-tonne satellites, thus putting the country into the league of superpowers.
As per ISRO, following the lift off, the rocket would inject the satellite into the Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) with required inclination to the equator. It would be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit using the on-board propulsion system and it may take a few days after separation from launcher to reach the orbital slot.
Last year in July, the ISRO had allowed three industries to build 27 satellites in the next three years. This is to protect future demands for satellite capacity for DTH broadcasting and scientific missions.
As per ISRO: “The contract is for each of the three to make nine 1.6 tonne to 2-3 tonne satellites, which means they’ll make a total of nine every year and 27 by the end of three years.”
Also, in April 2017, the government had admitted that inadequate capacity on Indian satellites has forced the direct to home (DTH) operators to use a large number of transponders on foreign satellites. Hence, the government wanted ISRO to meet growing demands owing to proliferation of HD TV channels.
Then, the junior minister at Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) Rajyavardhan Rathore informed the Lok Sabha: “Presently DTH services are being supported by 42 transponders on indigenous satellites (INSAT/GSAT) and about 69 transponders on foreign satellites. There is a registered demand of additional about 64 transponders for immediate future.”
The Minister then added that as ISRO increases its satellite capacity to be able to meet the demands of Indian DTH operators, a migration from foreign satellites would become a reality.
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) and Department of Space are wanting broadcasters to shift from foreign to Indian satellite services, but the lack of capacity hindered this. And Rathore said: “It is expected that over a period of next three years adequate capacity would be added through Indian satellites to facilitate migration of foreign capacity to Indian capacity.”
Then talking about TRAI’s recommendations on sharing of infrastructure on a voluntary basis, Rathore said that MIB has not received any proposal from DTH operators for sharing of satellite transponders and earth station facilities with another such player or distribution platforms. “Enabling sharing of infrastructure may address the issue of demand-supply mismatch and reduce capital and operating expenditure of the service provider to an appreciable extent.”