February 2020


A Replacement For The INSAT-4A Has Been Launched.

On 16 January 2020, Ariane5 flight VA251 carrying ISRO's GSAT-30 & Eutelsat Konnect satellites successfully placed the 2 satellites in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).


ISRO has developed the GSLV III launcher that can place satellites of up to 2,500 Kgs in GTO.

However, the GSAT-30 weighs 3,357 Kgs and is beyond the GSLV's launch capability. Hence it was launched by Arianespace.


The GSAT-30 is a replacement for the ageing INSAT-4A launched on 22 December 2005, with a projected life of 12 years. INSAT-4A was India's first dual - C & Ku Band Satellite. On 21 October 2019, the INSAT-4A was moved to a "graveyard orbit." Hence there has been an urgent need for a replacement satellite.

Similar to the INSAT-4A, the GSAT-30 has 12 C-Band + 12 Ku-Band Transponders.

The Ku band transponders cover the Indian land mass including the Andaman & Nicobar islands. Its C-band coverage will extend to the Gulf countries, a large number of Asian countries and Australia, according to ISRO.

The GSAT-30 has a projected mission life of 15 years & will provide DTH, television uplink & VSAT services.

GSAT-30 was created and built at ISRO by project director V Ramanathan and his team in less than 1 year.


The INSAT-4A was located at 83 degrees East. Later, the GSAT-10 was also launched and co-located in the same slot.

The GSAT-30 will be co-located with the GSAT-10 at 83 degrees East.


The GSAT-10 communications satellite was launched by Arianespace in September 2012, and co-located with the INSAT-4A satellite. It has 12 KU Band, 12 C Band and 6 lower extended C Band transponders, and included a navigation payload to augment GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) capacity.

The satellite provides additional C & Ku Band capacity to the INSAT-4A satellite. It has a 15 year projected life & should remain operational till August 2027.

GSAT-30 will now add transponder capacity and provide even better signal strengths to signals downloaded from 83 deg East.


The 83 degrees East orbital slot provides Ku Band signals for the TataSky DTH platform.

It also provides C-Band capacity for Doordarshan, ETV, Zee & several independent channels downlinked to Cable TV networks.

The GSAT-30 will provide superior signal strengths for all these services.

ISRO 2020

ISRO launched the GSAT-31 last year. The GSAT-30 joins 18 other ISRO satellites functioning in orbit.

2020 will be a busy year for ISRO - 25 missions including Chandrayaan 3 and Gaganyaan mission are scheduled this year. n