19 Jun '17, 2am
ISRO to usher in a new era of Satellites with Electric Propulsion
Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has been working on a new propulsion system that is set to usher in a new era of cost effective satellite launches. Known as electric propulsion (EP) system, this technology converts solar energy into electrical energy which, in turn, is used to change the velocity of a satellite in space. It reduces the use of chemical propellant in a launch vehicle. EP system was first used as a technology demonstrator in Gsat-9 or the South Asia Satellite launched on May 5, which was PM Narendra Modi's brainchild. Currently, a 2,000-kg Insat/Gsat-class communication satellite carries 800-1,000kg of chemical propellant. This chemical fuel is required for transferring the communication satellite from the geosynchronous transfer orbit (where it is placed by a rocket) to the geostationary orbit (36,000km away from the earth). It also helps in orbit ...