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January 2019


India's latest generation High Throughput Satellite (HTS), GSAT-11 was successfully launched on December 05, 2018 from Kourou launch base, French Guiana by Ariane-5 VA-246.


Weighing 5854 kg, GSAT-11 is ISRO's heaviest satellite. It generates 13.5 KW of power & has a projected service life of 15 years.

GSAT-11 is the fore-runner in the series of advanced communication satellites with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and Islands. GSAT-11 will support Bharat Net by connecting gram panchayats for e-governance and digital platforms; VSAT terminals and for enterprise network and consumer broadband.

It will also provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications.


Originally scheduled for launch in May 2018, the GSAT-11 launch was delayed when in April 2018, ISRO recalled it from Arianespace's rocket port in French Guiana for further tests - mainly of its power system.

In March 2018, ISRO lost its GSAT-6A due to a failure of its power bus.


GSAT-11 is ISRO's second HTS, after the GSAT-29 which was launched by a GSLV rocket on 14 Nov 2018. It was a milestone for ISRO's GSLV program.

The GSAT-29 has 2 Ku & Ka Band operational payloads to provide broadband services to the underserved regions of Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast India under Digital India programme.

Weighing 3,423 kgs, GSAT-29 was the heaviest satellite, orbited by an Indian launch vehicle.


High Throughput Satellite (HTS) is a classification for communications satellites that provide 2x to 20x of the total throughput of a regular satellite, using the same amount of allocated orbital spectrum.

The significant increase in capacity is achieved by narrow focused spot beams which allow frequency re-use.


2 weeks after the GSAT 11 launch, ISRO launched the GSAT-7A via the GSLV-MkII.

The GSAT-7A will be used exclusively by the Indian Air Force. It will enable drones / UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to be controlled via satellite, instead of groundbased control stations.

It will link the IAF's different ground radar stations, airbases, and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft.

It is a relatively small Ku Band satellite, weighing 2.2 tons.

Incidentally, the GSAT-7A is ISRO's second defence satellite. In 2013, ISRO had launched the GSAT-7 (also called 'Rukmini') for the Indian Navy.


ISRO, has planned 22 missions in 2019.

GSAT-31 Will Replace INSAT-4CR In Jan 2019


Ariane will also launch the GSAT-31 as a replacement of the ageing INSAT-4CR, which will have to be decommissioned in January 2019. "We have a very small window for that, and the replacement has to be in orbit before INSAT-4CR goes out of action so that people are not affected," Sivan said.

Given the critical requirement for this replacement satellite, GSAT-31 will be launched by the reliable Arianne rocket, rather than the GSLV, which is under development.


The much delayed and re-configured Chandrayaan-2 - lunar exploration mission has a launch window between January 3 and mid-March. "We hope to meet the January 3 date," Sivan said.


The Aditya-L1 planned for December 2019, will study the Sun's surface.

Others include CartoSat and OceanSat, a microwave imaging satellite for all-weather purpose and Risat.

GSAT-30 Will replace INSAT-4A In May 2019

GSAT-20 & 30

The bigger launches in 2019 include GSAT-20 in August, and the GSAT-30, which will replace the INSAT-4A and IRNSS-1J, as part of India's navigation constellation, which will carry an indigenous atomic clock. Imported atomic clocks have repeatedly failed on earlier satellites. n