The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday launched its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV-D2) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota and successfully placed the earth observation satellite EOS-07 and two co-passenger satellites – Antaris Janus-1 and AzaadiSat2 – in a 450-km circular orbit around the Earth. After the mission’s success, ISRO chairman S Somanath said, “We have a new launch vehicle.”
The successful launch of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) performance will have a special significance for the space agency ISRO and two companies with active presence in Hyderabad – XDLINX and Ananth Technologies based in Bangalore. For the Indian Space Research Organisation, the second demonstrator flight of the SSLV must succeed as the small satellite market is growing, and an exclusive launcher will give it a market advantage. Incidentally, the first flight on August 7 last year failed at the final stage in placing the payload in the right orbit.
According to the ISRO, the 34-meter tall, 2-meter diameter, 3-stage SSLV launcher carries its own Earth Observation Satellite (EOS)-07, weighing 156.3 kg; JANUS-1 (10.2 kilograms) belonging to US-based Antaris and AzaadiSAT2 (8.5 kg) of Space Kidz India, Chennai. A successful mission will enable ISRO to demonstrate the readiness of the SSLV for commercial business. Simultaneously, the developments in the Startup space companies have been encouraging in the small satellite market. Janus-1 is a technology demonstrator smart satellite based on US firm Antaris software platform and fabricated in India by Ananth Technologies.
JANUS -1, Hardware made in India
“The complete Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) for JANUS-1 has been conducted successfully at Ananth’s new AIT facility in Bangalore’s Aerospace Park,” informed the company. According to the statement, Janus-1 is a software-defined 6U technology demonstration satellite designed and built using the Antaris cloud software platform and SatOS™ software, as well as XDLinx’s modular Spacecraft Bus with Ananth as it’s Master Systems Integrator (MSI). The high-efficiency and mission-optimized Solar Panels of JANUS-1 have also been fully indigenised by Ananth.
From concept to launch readiness, JANUS-1 was designed and built in just ten months at a cost savings of 75 per cent over comparable satellite missions. JANUS-1 carries five different payloads, including IoT and communication systems.
“The successful launch of JANUS-1 proves the power of Anataris and XDLinx’s software and bus platforms, respectively, when coupled with Ananth’s manufacturing and AIT prowess. The cost and time savings achieved through this approach are immense and the best in the industry,” said Subba Rao Pavuluri, CMD of Ananth Technologies Ltd.
In addition to the JANUS-1 satellite, Ananth’s Thiruvananthapuram unit has also significantly contributed to the SSLV-D2 launch vehicle. Ananth supported in realising critical NGC packages, including VLV-Dry and PYRO cards. It has also supported VSSC in all the electrical harnessing of Avionics sub-assemblies for this mission.
The EOS-7 satellite was the primary payload of this SSLV-D2 launch. The statement further stated that Ananth’s Bangalore Spacecraft team has contributed various avionics subsystems for EOS-7, including IRU, BMU, LEMA and DC-DC converters packages.
The global market for small satellites was about $7.8 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow to about $25 billion in a decade. With the successful launch of SSLV D-2, the ISRO and the private Indian space sector will benefit enormously by establishing SSLV as an exclusive offering soon.