Department of Space Research & Indian Space Research Organization
"There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation to us; there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight. But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society”
-Dr Vikram Sarabhai
Government of India set up Space Commission and Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under DOS executes Space programme through its establishments located in different places in India.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), over the years, established a comprehensive network of ground stations to provide Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) support to Satellite and Launch vehicle missions. These facilities are grouped under ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) with its headquarters at Bangalore, India
- ISTRAC facilities in Bangalore consists of, TTC ground station (BLR) with full redundancy Multi-mission Spacecraft Control Center to carryout and control spacecraft operations and co-ordinate with the network stations. Computer facility with distributed architecture providing independent processors for communications handling, dedicated processors to provide real-time displays for individual spacecraft missions and off-line processors for carrying out spacecraft data archival, analysis and orbit determination.
- Communication Control facility to establish links between SCC and ISTRAC network stations as well as control centers of other participating external space agencies and data receptions stations through dedicated voice, data and TTY links.
- Limited TTC facility to provide on orbit operational support to INSAT satellites as back up to INSAT Master Control Facility at Hassan.
- The main objectives of the space programme include the development of satellites, launch vehicles, Sounding Rockets and associated ground systems. Crossed several major milestones.
- The Experimental phase included the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), the Satellite Telcommunication Experiment (STEP), remote sensing application projects, and satellites.
- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) used for launching IRS Satellites and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), intended for launching INSAT class of satellites.
- Space Science activities include SROSS and IRS-P3 satellites, participation in international science campaigns and ground systems like MST Radar.
- Chandrayaan-1, India’s first spacecraft mission beyond Earth’s orbit, aims to further expand our knowledge about Earth’s only natural satellite the moon.
- ISRO's co-operative arrangements cover several countries and space agencies.
- ISRO provides training in space field to personnel from other countries.
- ISRO's hardware and services available commercially through Antrix Corporation.
The Department of Space (DOS) has, over the years, built up a strong research and development and technology base with necessary infrastructure and manpower for implementing the space programme.
- Main launch centre of ISRO, 100 km north of Chennai.
- Processes solid propellant motors and conducts ground tests.
- Launch ranges at Thumba also for sounding rockets.
- Achievements include establishment of launch complexes for Sounding rockets, SLV- 3, ASLV and PSLV. Launch complex augmented for GSLV.
Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), http://www.isro.org/centers/cen_lpsc.htm
- Engaged in development of liquid and cryogenic propulsion stages for launch vehicles and auxiliary propulsion systems for both launch vehicles and satellites.
- Thiruvananthapuram. Test facilities are located at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu. Precision fabrication facilities, development of transducers and integration of satellite propulsion systems are carried out at Bangalore.
Space Applications Centre (SAC), http://www.sac.gov.in/
Space Applications Centre (SAC) is one of the major centres of the Indian Space Research Organisation that is engaged in the research, development and demonstration of applications of Space Technology in the field of Communications, Remote Sensing, Meteorology and Satellite Navigation. This includes R&D on onboard systems, ground systems and end user equipment hardware and software. Its achievements include development of communication and meteorological payloads for INSAT, Optical and Microwave payloads for IRS satellites. SAC provides its infrastructure to conduct training courses to the students of CSSTEAP.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), http://www.isro.org/centers/cen_vssc.htm
- Lead centre for rocket and launch vehicle projects.
- R&D activities cover avionics, aeronautics, materials and mechanical engineering, solid propulsion and composites, propellants, polymers and chemicals, systems reliability and computer and information.
- Ammonium Perchlorate Experimental Plant under VSSC functions at Aluva. Space Physics Laboratory carries out research in atmospheric and related space sciences.
- Achievements include development of sounding rockets, ISRO launch vehicles, SLV 3, ASLV and PSLV. GSLV is under development.
ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), http://www.isro.org/centers/cen_isac.htm
- Lead centre for satellite technology.
- Activities cover digital systems, power systems, communication and microwave systems, spacecraft assembly integration and testing, structures, thermal, spacecraft mechanisms, control systems, spacecraft mission planning and analysis, computers and information, systems reliability and space physics. Facilities include fabrication and test facilities for satellite projects.
Laboratory for Electro-Optic Sensors (LEOS) works under the overall umbrella of ISAC
- Achievements include design and development of 23 satellites so far of various types like scientific, communication and remote sensing. INSAT-2E, IRS-P4, IRS-P5, IRS-P6 and G-SAT are current projects.
The major proportion of DECU's work relates directly to the wider INSAT community and beyond. Most of its outputs (programmes, research reports) are not amenable to direct objective assessment. Again a substantial part of its funding is from (multiple) non-ISRO sources, primarily the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. It has considerable interaction with outside agencies.
ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), http://www.isro.org/centers/cen_trac.htm
- Provides mission support to near-earth satellites and launch vehicle missions.
- Has a network of ground stations at Bangalore, Lucknow, Port Blair, Sriharikota, Thiruvananthapuram. Besides, ISTRAC has TTC stations at Mauritius, Bearslake(Russia), Biak(Indonesia) and Brunei. A multi-mission Spacecraft Control Centre is located at Bangalore.
- Currently supporting IRS-1B, IRS-1C, IRS-1D IRS-P3, IRS-P4 and SROSS-C2 satellites.
- Operates Local User Terminal/Mission Control Centre (LUT/MCC) under the international Satellite-Aided Search and Rescue Programme.
INSAT Master Control Facility (MCF), http://www.isro.org/centers/cen_mcf.htm
- Responsible for post-launch operations on INSAT satellites including orbit manoeuvres, station keeping and on-orbit operations
- At present supporting on-orbit operations on INSAT-3A, INSAT-3B, INSAT-3C, INSAT-3E, Kalpana-1 and GSAT-3 satellites.
ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), http://www.isro.org/centers/cen_iisu.htm
- Carries out development of inertial sensors and systems for satellites and launch vehicles covering navigation systems, satellite inertial systems, bearing and space tribology and inertial systems integration and simulation
- Facilities include precision fabrication, assembly, integration and testing.
- Achievements include development of inertial systems for ISRO launch vehicles and satellites, solar array drive assemblies, scanning mechanisms, etc.
- Currently engaged in development of Inertal Navigation System for PSLV, GSLV, INSAT and IRS satellites.
National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), http://www.isro.org/centers/cen_nrsa.htm
- An autonomous institution supported by Department of Space. Responsible for acquisition, processing and supply of data from remote sensing satellites. Has satellite earth-station at Shadnagar, near Hyderabad, for reception of data from Indian remote sensing satellites, US Landsat and NOAA, French SPOT and microwave data from the European remote sensing satellite ERS. Undertakes remote sensing application projects in collaboration with the users.
- Incharge of generation and implementaiton of action plans under Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development in 174 districts of India.
- Also runs Indian Institute of Remote Sensing at Dehra Dun.
- Currently supplying data from IRS-1B, IRS-1C, IRS-1D, IRS-P3 and IRS-P4 to the users.
Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre, http://www.isro.org/rrssc/abtus.htm
- Provide facilities for digital image analysis and Geographic Information System (GIS) to the users
- Guide / assist users in application of digital image analysis techniques and GIS
- Develop and demonstrate techniques in the new area of applications
- Train scientists of user agencies in Remote Sensing Application, digital techniques, GIS and theme based applications
- Provide support service to execute national projects and promote remote sensing applications
Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), http://www.isro.org/centers/cen_prl.htm
- A national centre for research in space and allied sciences, supported mainly by Department of Space Research programmes cover astronomy and astrophysics, planetary atmosphere and aeronomy, earth sciences and solar system studies and theoretical physics. Manages the Udaipur Solar Observatory.
National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), http://www.narl.gov.in/
NARL has now become one of the prime centres for atmospheric research in the country and operates a state-of-the-art MST radar, Rayleigh/ Mie Lidar, Boundary Layer Lidar, Sodium Lidar, Lower Atmospheric Wind Profiler, Sodar, Disdrometer, Optical Rain Gauge, Dual frequency GPS receiver, Automatic Weather Station apart from regular launching of the GPS balloon sonde. Being relatively young, NARL’s research activities are spearheaded by a team of young and vibrant fulltime research scientists and students. This web site provides some salient features of the activities and experimental facilities available for national and international collaborative research work.
Antrix Corporation Limited, http://www.antrix.gov.in/
- Antrix draws upon its strength and the heritage from the experience and proven scientific achievements of the Indian Space Programme over the past four decades.
- An impressive array of achievements, capabilities and facilities.
- A demonstration of India's maturity in providing end to end programs in applications of Space Technology for national needs.
- Access to the resources of Indian Space Research Organization, Department of Space and the vibrant Indian industry that has grown in parallel, to handle technology problems
Semi-Conductor Laboratory, http://www.sclindia.com/scl_society/index.htm
- Electronic & Information System
- System Reliability
- Technical Support Services
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), http://www.iist.ac.in/IIST/
Research forms a significant part of the goals envisaged for this premier and unique institute. The main aim is to seamlessly integrate Research and Development with academics and encourage faculty members to carry on research in their respective areas of interest. The Institute is not only planning to create its own infrastructure to develop an excellent research atmosphere but it will also have the opportunity to share the sophisticated research facilities of ISRO Centres.
Natural Resources information Management System, http://www.nnrms.gov.in/index.html
- Spatial Information, images and maps, forms the foundation and basis for most planning and implementation of developmental activities; infrastructure development; disaster management support; environmental monitoring; natural resources management; business geographic and many other national activities. Even common citizens require maps and spatial information for their localized decision-making. Generating the information on the nation's natural resources and its infrastructure; updating and maintaining the information sets and integrating these with administrative and social datasets provides the most optimal and scientific decision-alternatives in support of national development. This is the primary driver for the Government of India to establish, in 1983, the National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS).