New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch a high power S-band communication satellite GSAT-6A on Thursday at the behest of the country's armed forces. The 2,000 kg satellite will provide mobile connectivity anywhere in India using multi-beam coverage. It will complement the GSAT-6, which has been orbiting since August 2015 at a longitude of 83 degrees East; its planned mission life is about 10 years.
"The satellite will provide a platform for developing technologies such as the demonstration of a 6-meter S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques that could be useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications," ISRO said in a statement.
The GSAT-6A's ‘unfurlable antenna' is developed by the ISRO's Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad. GSAT-6A will also have a smaller 0.8-meter antenna for communication in the C band. The unfurlable antenna would be utilized with five spot beams over the Indian mainland and very small handheld devices would be required to be used for data, video or voice transfer.
Owing to the topographical challenges across the Indian terrain, soldiers on many occasions encounter breaks in commutation. The GSAT-6A would give a much-needed quality and security to the communication among soldiers operating in diverse terrain and topographic conditions ranging from deserts to snow-clad mountains.
In 2013, ISRO had launched the GSAT-7- a dedicated communications satellite for the maritime forces.