Private sector participation in space sector gaining momentum as more players get onboard

Space sector

Space sector

With more startups getting onboard, private sector participation in India’s space sector will get further momentum this weekend with the launch of ISRO’s PSLV-C54.

In addition to ISRO’s Earth Observation Satellite – 06 (Oceansat-3), the rocket will carry eight nano-satellites.

These nano satellites include Bengaluru-headquartered spacetech startup Pixxel’s third hyperspectral satellite ‘Anand’ “More than two years in the making and made with a lot of dedication and effort, the team can’t wait for the satellite to finally go to space and beam down some amazing #hyperspectral data”, Pixxel said.

Two Thybolt spacecraft of private spacetech company Dhruva Space will also be co-passengers on board PSLV-C54 which is slated to be launched from the first launch pad of Sriharikota spaceport at 11.56 am on November 26.

“It is momentous that on the same day, we will be observing 10 years of Dhruva Space!,” the company based out of Hyderabad said.

The upcoming flight comes close on the heels of the launch of Vikram-S (a sub-orbital launch vehicle from Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace), the first rocket built by a private company in India, on November 18.

PSLV-C54 will also carry ISRO Nano Satellite-2 for Bhutan (INS-2B) and four numbers of Astrocast, a technology demonstrator satellite for the Internet of Things (IoT) as the payload from Spaceflight, the USA.

According to Bengaluru-headquartered ISRO, EOS-6 is the third-generation satellite in the Oceansat series.

This is to provide continuity services of Oceansat-2 spacecraft with enhanced payload specifications as well as application areas.

The payloads are: Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM-3), Sea Surface Temperature Monitor and Ku-Band Scatterometer (SCAT-3) and ‘ARGOS’ Mission Objectives are: To ensure the data continuity of ocean colour and wind vector data to sustain the operational applications; to improve the applications, some additional datasets such as sea surface temperature and more number of bands in Optical region for florescence and in Infrared region for atmospheric corrections are accommodated, and to develop / improve related algorithms and data products to serve in well- established application areas and to enhance the mission utility.

INS-2B (BhutanSat) will have two payloads — NanoMx and APRS-Digipeater. NanoMx is a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by Space Applications Centre.

APRS-Digipeater payload is jointly developed by the Department of Information Technology and Telecom, Bhutan and the U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru.

‘Anand’ satellite is a technology demonstrator to demonstrate the capabilities and commercial applications of miniaturised earth-observation camera for earth observation using a microsatellite in Low Earth Orbit.

The Thybolt spacecraft includes a communication payload to enable rapid technology demonstration and constellation development for multiple users.

It also demonstrates Store-and-Forward functionality for authorised users in the amateur frequency band.

“The satellites shall be deployed by using Dhruva Space Orbital Deployer to perform the specific mission operations for a minimum lifetime of one year,” according to the national space agency.