The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing for the launch of its Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) on the country's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

TES is one of three technology demonstrator satellites scheduled to be launched on the PSLV in late September or early October.

The Indian satellite will validate advanced spacecraft bus and payload technologies. While TES will be the primary payload onboard, the Bird satellite designed by Germany's DLR space agency, and a Proba spacecraft, designed by Verhaert Design and Development of Belgium, will be launched as piggyback payloads.

Proba is a 100kg (220lb) satellite developed as part of a European Space Agency technology programme to demonstrate the benefits of onboard autonomy. It will also carry a primary Earth observation instrument: a high resolution imaging spectrometer.

The Bird satellite is designed to test a new generation of infrared array sensors adapted to remote sensing by small satellites for various applications.

Following the TES launch, the ISRO plans further launches of locally developed satellites. In the near term the IRS-P5 cartographic satellite and IRS-P6 resources survey spacecraft will be launched on the PSLV over the next two years. IRS-P5 will carry two panchromatic cameras to provide stereo images with a spatial resolution of 2.5m (8ft). The IRS-P5 data will aid digital terrain modelling.

IRS-P6 will carry two multi-spectral cameras, LISS-3 and 4. The former will provide 23.5m spatial resolution in four bands with a swath of 140km (87 miles) while LISS-4 will provide 5.8m spatial resolution operating in three bands. In addition, IRS-P6 will feature an Advanced Wide Field Sensor with a spatial resolution of 70m in three spectral bands.

Meanwhile, ISRO is declining to set a launch date for its INSAT-3C communications spacecraft on the Arianespace Ariane-5 until after completion of the report on the recent failure of the booster according to Dr Kasturirangan, the ISRO chairman. Kasturirangan has ruled out switching launchers.

Source: Flight International