India Sci-Tech
Insat-4B placed in intermediate orbit
Mar 13, 2007 - 6:12:56 PM

Bangalore, March 13 - Insat-4B, the Indian communication satellite, was placed in intermediate orbit early Tuesday by the Master Control Facility - of the Indian Space Research Organisation - in Karnataka.

Systems on board the spacecraft were functioning normally, the space agency said in a statement.

'The satellite perigee was placed into the intermediate orbit at a distance of 14,244 km from the earth by firing the 440 Newton liquid apogee motor on board for about 93 minutes, with the entire operation conducted remotely by the MCF,' the agency said.

With its apogee at 35,752 km, the inclination of the orbit was reduced to 1.15 degrees from 4.5 degrees over the equatorial plane. The present orbital period is about 15 hours and 21 minutes.

'The satellite, which had gone out of radio visibility of MCF at 2.04 p.m. Monday, came within the visibility at 1.00 a.m. Tuesday. It has again gone out at 12.02 p.m. and will return at 6.11 a.m. Wednesday.'

MCF near Hassan in Karnataka, about 180 km from here, acquired the first signals at 4.02 a.m. Monday after the satellite was launched on board Ariane-5 from Kourou in French Guyana and placed in the intended geo-synchronous transfer orbit with a perigee - of 250 km and an apogee - of 35,886 km.

As the second satellite in the Insat-4 series, Insat-4B is carrying 12 high power Ku-band - transponders and 12 C-band - transponders to augment the capacity for direct-to-home - television services and expanding the Insat capacity for other communication and broadcasting services.

'When the satellite nears the geo-stationary orbit - in the coming days, its dish shaped antenna reflectors and solar panels will be deployed. In GSO, Insat-4B will be co-located with Insat-3A satellite at 93.5 degree east longitude.

The solar panels of the 50-foot satellite can generate about 5,800 watt energy. Three lithium ion batteries of 100 ampere-hour - capacity will generate power to maintain the satellite's key functions during eclipse periods.

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