Space Infrastructure in India
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- Space activities in India began with the establishment of the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962. In the same year, work on establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) near Thiruvananthapuram was also started.
- ISRO was formed on 15th Aug 1969, and superseded INCOSPAR with an expanded role. In 1972, Space Commission and Department of Space (DOS) were constituted by the GoI, and ISRO was brought under DOS.
- ISRO is the space agency of India. It is involved in science, engineering, and technology to harvest the benefits of our space for India and mankind. It has established major space systems for communication, television broadcasting, and remote sensing. It has also developed satellite launch vehicles like PSLV, GSLV, LVM-3 etc. It also contributes to science and science education in the country. It has launched Indian’s NAVIC, Chandrayaan, MOM-1, Aditya-L1 and several other incredible missions.
- Space Commission formulates the policies and oversees the implementation of the Indian Space Program to promote development and application of space science and technology for the socio-economic benefit of the country.
- DOS implements these programs through ISRO and other associated organizations:
The Major establishments of DOS and their area of activities are:
A) Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC):
Located in Thiruvananthapuram, it is responsible for design and development of launch vehicle (rocket) technology. Its major programs include, PSLV, GSLV, LVM-3, RLV, Rohini Sounding Rockets etc.
B) Ur Rao Satellite Centre (URSC)
Located in Bengaluru, it is the lead centre for design and development of satellites including communication, navigation and remote sensing satellites. These satellites provide applications in the areas of telecommunication, television broadcasting, VSAT services, tele-medicines, tele-education, navigation, weather forecasting, disaster warning etc.
C) Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC)-SHAR
- It is the ‘Spaceport of India’. It is the backbone of the ISRO in providing launch base infrastructure for the Indian Space Program.
- It is located at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
D) Liquid Propulsion System Centre (LPSC)
- It is the lead centre of ISRO for the design, development, and realization of advanced propulsion systems for launch vehicles.
- It is primarily responsible for developing and deploying earth storable, cryogenic, semi-cryogenic, and electric propulsion systems for ISRO’s launch vehicles and satellites.
- Its activities are spread across its two campuses, namely, LPSC, Valiamala, Thiruvananthapuram, and LPSC, Bengaluru.
E) Space Application Centre (SAC)
- Located in Ahmedabad, it’s a major R&D centre of ISRO.
- It develops space borne and air-borne instruments and payloads and their applications for national development and societal benefits.
- For e.g., the communication transponders developed at this centre for the INSAT and GSAT series of satellites are used by the government and private sector for VSAT, DTH, Internet, broadcasting etc.
- It also designs and develops optical and microwave sensors for satellites, signal and image processing software, GIS software, and many applications for Earth Observation Program of ISRO.
F) Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC)
- Set up in 2019, it is the lead centre for ISRO’s Human Spaceflight program.
- It undertakes multidisciplinary R&D activities in new domains of human science and technology while conforming to high standards of reliability and human safety.
- It is currently focused on Gaganyaan mission and is working on end-to-end mission planning, development of orbital module, life support systems, selection and training of astronauts etc.
- It is currently operating from ISRO-HQ campus, Bengaluru.
G) National Remote Sensing Centre
- It is responsible for establishment of ground centres for receiving satellite data, generation of data products, aerial remote sensing data acquisition, dissemination to the users, development of techniques for remote sensing applications including disaster management support, geospatial services etc.
H) ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC)
- Located in Mahendragiri, it is responsible for assembly, integration and testing of liquid propulsion systems for operational and developmental launch vehicles.
- It is also responsible for qualification, testing and acceptance of liquid engines, cryogenic engines, spacecraft engines etc.
I) ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC)
- It is responsible for providing telemetry, tracking and command (TTC), and mission control services to major launch vehicle, laboratory for electro-Optics Systems (LEOS) and Interplanetary Spacecraft missions of ISRO.
- It is also responsible for operating the complex ground segment of NaVIC.
J) Master Control Facility (MCF)
- It is responsible for on-orbit Operations (OOP) and Launch & Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) operations of geostationary/geosynchronous & IRNSS class of spacecrafts of ISRO.
- It is located at Hassan in Karnataka.
K) ISRO Intertial Systems Unit (IISU)
- Located in Thiruvananthapuram, it is responsible for design and development of inertial systems for launch vehicles and satellites. These include mechanical and optical gyros, Altitude reference systems, accelerometer packages etc.
L) Laboratory for electro Optics Systems (LEOS)
- Located in Bengaluru it is responsible for design, development and production of altitude sensors, high resolution imaging optics, and special purpose science instruments for several spacecrafts.
M) Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS)
- IIRS, Dehradun, is a premier institute with primary aim to build capacity in Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics and their applications through education and training programs at the postgraduate levels.
N) Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU)
- Located in Ahemedabad, it is responsible for implementation of satellite-based societal applications in the country.
- It is involved in the system definition, planning, implementation, and social research & evaluation of such applications.
O) Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)
- PRL, Ahmedabad is an autonomous body under DOS, and a premier research institute engaged in basic research in the areas of Astronomy and Astrophysics, solar physics, planetary science and exploration, space and atmospheric sciences, geosciences, theoretical physics, atomic, molecular and optical physics etc.
P) National Atmospheric Research Laboratory
- Located in Gadanki near Tirupati, it is an autonomous organization engaged in cutting edge research in atmospheric and space sciences with the vision of developing capability to predict the behaviour of the earth’s atmosphere through observations and modelling.
Q) Northeastern Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC)
- It is an autonomous organization under DOS and Northeastern Council (NEC). It has the mandate of providing space-based governance and development by taking up projects in the fields of natural resource management, infrastructure planning, healthcare, education, emergency communication etc.
- It also conducts training and capacity building in the field of geospatial technology and UAV based remote sensing applications.
R) Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology
- Established in 2007 at Thiruvananthapuram, it is Asia’s first Space University. It aims to provide high quality education in Space S&T to meet the demands of the Indian Space Program. It offers undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral programs.
S) Antrix Corporation Limited (ACL)
- It is a GoI company under the administrative control of DOS.
- It is engaged in providing space sector products and services worldwide ranging from supply of hardware and software, earth observation and scientific missions, transponder lease services, launch services etc.
T) New Space India Limited (NSIL)
- Incorporated in 2019, it is a CPSE, under the administrative control of DOS. It focuses on commercially utilization of R&D work of ISRO centres and other DOS constituents.
- The emergence of NSIL would spur the growth of Indian industries in the space sector and enable Indian industries to scale up manufacturing and production base.
U) Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACE)
- It is an independent nodal agency under Department of Space (DoS). It was set up in 2020 to boost commercialization of Indian Space Activities and encourage private sector participation.
- It will permit and oversee the following activities of non-Government Private Entities (NGPEs):
- Building of launch vehicles and satellites and providing space-based service as per the
definition of space activities.
- Sharing ISRO infrastructure/premise etc.
- Establishment of temporary facilities within the premise of ISRO
- Establishment of new space infrastructure and facilities, by NGPEs, in pursuance of space activities based on safety norms and other statutory guidelines and necessary clearance.
- Building of Spacecrafts by NGPEs for registration as Indian satellites and all associated infrastructure
- Using of spacecraft data and rolling out of space-based services and all other associated infrastructure for the same.
- Building of launch vehicles and satellites and providing space-based service as per the