Feb 13, 2014

India’s workhorse to launch three satellites for China

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ISRO says it plans to launch the three DMC-3 Earth observation satellites from Sriharikota by the yearend or early 2015.

While China has proved its capabilities in building human space flights and lunar missions, it will be an Indian carrier that will launch three satellites for the country.

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro’s) workhorse launch vehicle Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which put into orbit some of India’s most important satellites such as the Chandrayaan-1 and Mars Orbiter Mission, has been chosen to launch the three DMC-3 Earth observation satellites for China.

The DMC-3 will be built by UK’s Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSLT) and its imaging capacity will be leased to Beijing-based Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Company Limited (21AT) for a period of seven years.

As per an agreement singed between UK and China in 2011, 21AT will lease 100% of the imaging capacity of the three satellites.

According to SSLT, the satellites provides unparalleled one metre high resolution imagery with high speed downlink and 45 degree off-pointing.

“The three satellites will form a new constellation, DMC-3, with daily revisit times, which is crucial for change detection, disaster monitoring and response planning, and essential for acquiring cloud-free imagery,” states SSLT on the DMC-3 mission.

Further, the satellite design features advanced avionics and optical systems that make it possible to perform several different types of imaging such as mapping terrain, strip imaging and mosaic imaging for wide areas.

On January 29, Isro’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation Limited and DMC International Imaging, wholly-owned subsidiary of SSLT, inked an agreement of launching three DMC-3 Earth observation satellites.
The space agency said it has planned to launch the 350kg DMC-3 by the yearend or early 2015 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.