PSLV - C37 archives

The Complete Story – ISRO Sets World Record, Successfully Launching PSLV-37 Rocket With 104 Satellites Into Orbit

PSLV - C37
PSLV-C37 / Cartosat -2 Series Satellite Gallery
  1. PSLV-C37 (also known as Cartosat-2 series satellite) was the 39th mission of the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) program.
  1. PSLV-C37 broke the earlier records of launching 37 satellites by a Russian rocket on June 19, 2014 and of 29 satellites launched by NASA on 19 November 2013.
  1. It was successfully launched on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 9:28 Hrs IST from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
  1. After a flight of 16 minutes 48 seconds, the satellites achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 506 km inclined at an angle of 97.46 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and in the succeeding 12 minutes, all the 104 satellites successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence beginning with Cartosat-2 series satellite, followed by INS-1 and INS-2.
  1. The mission lasted for 28 minutes 42 seconds.
  1. After separation, the two solar arrays of Cartosat-2 series satellite were deployed automatically and ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore took over the control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration following which it will begin to provide remote sensing services using its panchromatic (black and white) and multispectral (colour) cameras.
  1. The satellite, once brought to its final operational configuration, will begin to provide remote sensing services using its panchromatic (black and white) and multispectral (colour) cameras.
  1. This was the sixteenth flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with the use of solid strap-on motors).
  1. The Cartosat-2 series satellite weighed 714 kg and 103 co-passenger satellites together weighed about 663 kg taking the total weight to 1377 kg
  1. Cartosat-2D weighs 714 kilograms (1,574 lb). The other foreign satellites contributed to approximately 664 kilograms (1,464 lb) making the total payload of 1,378 kilograms (3,038 lb).
  1. The total launch mass of the rocket was 320,000 kilograms (710,000 lb).
  1. The 88 US satellites were CubeSats weighing around 5 kilograms (11 lb) each separated from the rocket in different directions to avoid collision.
  1. Other Payload Parameters
  • Total liftoff weight: 320,000 kilograms (710,000 lb)
  • Payload weight: 1,378 kilograms (3,038 lb)
  • Overall height: 44.4 metres (145.7 ft)
  • Altitude: 505 kilometres (314 mi)
  • Maximum velocity: 7,809.52 metres per second (25,622 ft/s) (recorded at time of Cartosat-2D separation)
  1. The co-passenger satellites comprised of 101 nano satellites, one each from Kazakhstan, Israel, The Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 96 from United States of America (USA), as well as two Nano satellites from India.
  1. The 101 International customer Nano satellites were launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), a Government of India company under Department of Space (DOS), the commercial arm of ISRO and the International customers.
  1. Cartosat-2D will be used for Earth observation. INS-1A and INS-1B are technology demonstrator satellites. These two satellites carry a total of four different payloads from Space Applications Centre (SAC) and Laboratory for Electro Optics Systems (LEOS) of ISRO for conducting various experiments.
  1. The total number of Indian satellites launched by PSLV now stands at 46.
  1. With this successful launch, the total number of customer satellites from abroad launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV has reached 180.
  1. The total cost of the mission was around ₹100 Crore (US$15 million). In comparison, it costs SpaceX roughly $60 million to do the same. ISRO claimed that it would recover half the budget of the mission from the foreign countries whose satellites it would launch.
  1. The PSLV-C37 used the rocket engine nozzle manufactured by Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh based company Resins and Allied Productions (RAP). This is the 100th nozzle manufactured by RAP being used in a PSLV.
  1. The imagery from the Cartosat-2 series satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications. The data sets could be used for urban planning of 500 cities under the Amrut Planning Scheme.
  1. Many of nanosatellites are based on the CubeSat standard. The platform was originally developed by Universities in the United States so that students could easily get access to space. The student satellites from Israel’s Ben Gurion University and Kazakhstan’s Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and UAE’s American University of Sharjah (AUS) are all based on the CubeSat standard. The platform has seen widespread adoption by private companies as well, with the 8 Lemur satellites on board being based on the CubeSat standard. The CubeSats can be easily customised, and has a number of sub-systems that are readily available.

It has been reported that American private launch industry is threatened by Isro, and has lobbied for a policy that prevents American companies from using Indian launch vehicles such as the PSLV. However, as the nanosatellites keep getting made, and are more useful in space than on the ground, there are waivers given to companies on an individual basis, to allow them to use Isro launch vehicles.


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