ISRO on April 1 will launch EMISAT, an electronic intelligence satellite for the DRDO. ISRO, for the first time, will also demonstrate three different orbits with a new variant of the PSLV rocket.

It is an electronic intelligence satellite ‘Emisat’  meant for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) along with 28 third party satellites. ISRO, for the first time, will also demonstrate its new technologies like three different orbits with a new variant of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket.

Emisat is a satellite based on ISRO’s Indian Mini Satellite -2 (IMS-2) bus platform. The satellite is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement.

The new variant of the PSLV rocket will first put the 436 kg Emisat into a 749 km orbit. After that, the rocket will be brought down to put the 28 satellites into orbit, at an altitude of 504 km.

This will be followed by bringing the rocket down further to 485 km when the fourth stage/engine will turn into a payload platform carrying three experimental payloads:

1. Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO – for maritime satellite applications capturing messages transmitted from ships.

2. Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation), India – to assist amateur radio operators in tracking and monitoring position data.

3. Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) – for the structural and compositional studies of the ionosphere.

About PSLV

1. The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel.

2. In its normal configuration, the rocket will have six strap-on motors hugging the rocket’s first stage.

3. On January 24, ISRO flew a PSLV with two strap-on motors while in March, it had four strap-on motors.

4. The Indian space agency also has two more PSLV variants, viz Core Alone (without any strap-on motors) and the larger PSLV-XL.

5. ISRO selects the kind of rocket to be used based on the weight of the satellite it carries.

6. It will also be launching two more defence satellites in July or August with its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

7. In January, the space agency launched a defence imaging satellite Microsat R for the DRDO.


India successfully launched Microsat-R, a military satellite on board its Polar rocket PSLV C44.

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) blasted off from the first launchpad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. In a textbook launch, the 44-metre tall, four-stage PSLV-C44 soared into the clear and starry night sky majestically and injected the 740-kg Microsat-R into orbit precisely 13 minutes and 30 seconds later.

The Microsat-R was released in a 274-km polar sun synchronous orbit, marking another success story for the space agency. The fourth stage of the rocket with co-passenger Kalamsat, a students’ payload, would now be moved to a higher circular orbit, around 450 kms from earth, so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments.

Military purpose

The ISRO said it would take about 90 minutes for the fourth stage to reach the desired orbit. Microsat-R, an imaging satellite, is meant for military purposes.

Built at a cost of around Rs 12 lakh, the Kalamsat is an experimental satellite for studying the communication system of nano satellites, which can be useful in many fields, predominantly disaster management. The PSLV C44 is the first launch for the country’s space agency in 2019.

The PSLV-C44, assembled in 30 days, was the first mission of a new variant of the PSLV, called the PSLV-DL, as it was equipped with two strap-on configurations, the ISRO said. Usually, PSLVs were launched without any strap-ons (boosters) or were equipped with six strap-ons fixed around the rocket, but the ISRO, for the first time, used only two boosters for the mission, an official of the space agency said. He added that for the first time, the ISRO placed a satellite — Microsat-R — in a lower orbit, at around 274 kms from earth.

Space Kidz India 

Contributed by college students and the members of a Chennai-based organisation — Space Kidz India — Kalamsat is the first to use PS4 (the fourth stage of the vehicle) as a platform to orbit around the earth. “We have been working on the project for over six years now. These students are from various backgrounds and the youngest one is studying B.Sc Physics,” Space Kidz India CEO Srimathy Kesan told PTI. Kesan said Kalamsat was the lightest ever satellite to be launched by India.

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