Isro to launch GSAT-6A on Mar 29, transfer Lithium-Ion Cell tech to BHEL

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has entered into a technology transfer agreement (TTA) with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) under which it will pass on the technology for the manufacture of space grade Li-Ion cells.

The TTA was signed at Isro Headquarters in Bengaluru on March 22 in the presence of Isro Chairman K Sivan and BHEL Chairman & Managing Director Atul Sobti.

Isro uses Li-Ion batteries as a power source for satellite to launch vehicle applications due to their high energy density, reliability and long cycle life.

Isro’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram has successfully developed the technology to produce space grade Li-ion cell and demonstrated the performance of the cell under various testing conditions, establishing its cycle life characteristics in an accelerated mode. These cells are currently being used for various satellite and launch vehicle applications.

This Li-ion cell technology transfer will enable BHEL to produce space grade Li-Ion cells to help meet the country’s space programme requirements. This technology can also be adopted to cater to the Li-Ion cell requirement for other national needs.

GSAT-6A launch on March 29

Isro is gearing up to launch the GSAT-6A, a high-power S-band communication satellite on March 29.

The satellite, with a life span of around 10 years, will be put into orbit by Indian rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08), said Isro.

The rocket is expected to take off from the second launch pad at Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh at 4.56 p.m on March 29.

Isro said the GSAT-6A satellite was similar to GSAT-6. The satellite would provide a platform for developing technologies like demonstration of 6m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques. These are useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications.

GSAT-6A would be followed by the launch of navigation satellite next financial year.

In the Union Budget for 2018-19, the Department of Space has been tasked with preparing three earth observation spacecraft ready for launch; four Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) flights, besides one GSLV MkII and Mk III each. 

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