Encyclopedia Astronautica
Insat 3


Indian communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 2000.03.21. The multipurpose satellite design provided telecommunications, television broadcasting, meteorological and search and rescue services.

INSAT-3A carried twenty four transponders -- twelve operating in C-band frequency, six in Extended C-band and six in Ku-band. Nine of the twelve C-band transponders provided expanded geographical coverage, while the remaining three had an India coverage beam. All the extended C-band as well as the Ku-band transponders had India coverage beams. INSAT-3 also carried a Ku-band beacon.

For meteorological observation, INSAT-3A carried a three-channel Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) with 2 km resolution in the visible band and 8 km resolution in thermal infrared and water vapor bands. In addition, INSAT-3A carried a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera which operates in the visible and short wave infrared bands providing a spatial resolution of 1 km. A Data Relay Transponder (DRT) operating in UHF band was incorporated for real-time hydro-meteorological data collection from unattended platforms located on land and river basins. The data was then relayed in extended C-band to a central location.

INSAT-3A also carried another transponder for Satellite Aided Search and Rescue (SAS & R) as part of India's contribution to the international Satellite Aided Search and Rescue program.

INSAT-3A was launched by European Ariane-5 Launch Vehicle into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee of 200 km and an apogee of 35,980 km. The satellite was maneuvered to its final orbit by firing the satellite's apogee motor. Subsequently, the deployment of solar array, antennae and the solar sail was carried out and the satellite was commissioned after in-orbit checkout.

INSAT-3A was the third satellite in the INSAT-3 series. INSAT-3B and INSAT-3C were launched in March 2000 and January 2002 respectively by the Ariane launch vehicle and both the satellites were providing regular service. INSAT-3A was to be located at 93.5 deg east longitude in the geostationary orbit.

Another two satellites, INSAT-3D and INSAT-3E were planned for launch through 2005, followed by INSAT-4 series of satellites.

Technical Specification:

  • Orbit : Geostationary (93.5 E Longitude)
  • Dry Mass : 1,348 kg
  • Mass at Lift-off : 2,950 kg
  • Size : Cuboid of 2.0 x 1.77 x 2.8 m with solar array on the south and solar sail & boom on the north
  • Length when fully deployed : 24.4 m (North-South)/ 8.5 m (East-West)
  • Spacecraft Propulsion : 440 N Liquid Apogee Motor with MON-3 and Control (Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen) and MMH (Mono Methyl Hydrazine) for orbit raising, 3-axis body stabilized in orbit using sensors, momentum and reaction wheels, solar flaps, magnetic torquers and eight 10 Newton and eight 22 Newton Reaction Control Thrusters
  • Power : 26.6 sq m solar array generating 3100 W, Two 70 Ah Nickel-Hydrogen batteries to support full payload operation during eclipse period
  • Mission life : 12 years
  • Communication Payload
    • 12 C-band transponders, nine of which had expanded coverage providing an Edge-of-Coverage (EoC) Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) of 38 dBW and three having India beam coverage providing an EoC-EIRP of 37 dBW
    • 6 upper extended C-band transponders having India beam coverage providing an EoC-EIRP of 37 dBW
    • 6 Ku-band transponders having India beam coverage providing an EoC-EIRP of 47.5 dBW
    • 1 Satellite Aided Search & Rescue (SAS&R) transponder
  • Meteorological Payload
    • Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) with 2 km resolution in the visible band and 8 km resolution in infrared and water vapor bands
    • Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera operating in the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared bands with 1 km resolution
    • Data Relay Transponder (DRT)

RCS Coarse No x Thrust: 8 x 22 N. RCS Fine No x Thrust: 8 x 10 N + Momentum/reaction wheels + Magnetic torquers. Electric System: 3.10 average kW.

Gross mass: 2,950 kg (6,500 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 1,350 kg (2,970 lb).
Height: 2.00 m (6.50 ft).
Diameter: 1.77 m (5.80 ft).
Span: 24.40 m (80.00 ft).
Thrust: 400 N (90 lbf).
First Launch: 2000.03.21.
Last Launch: 2011.07.15.
Number: 13 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 5 The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane French orbital launch vehicle. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 42L French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 liquid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Ariane 5 French orbital launch vehicle. The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...
  • Ariane 5G French orbital launch vehicle. Initial version of the Ariane 5, a bit too large for the main commercial geosynchronous communications satellite payloads. More...
  • GSLV Indian mixed-propulsion orbital launch vehicle for geosynchronous satellites using a Lox/LH2 upper stage developed from Russian technology. More...
  • Ariane 5ECA French orbital launch vehicle, first version of the evolved Ariane 5. The solid booster motors propellant load was increased by 2.43 tonnes and the case was welded, for a weight saving in dry mass of 1.9 tonnes. The core was powered by an improved Vulcain 2 engine. The oxygen-rich cycle of the engine allowed the oxygen bulkhead to be moved within the stage, resulting in a 15.2 tonne increase in propellant in the core. A new Lox/LH2 upper stage, using the HM7B engine and oxygen tank from the Ariane 4 series, replaced the storable propellant EPS stage of earlier models. The result was an increase in payload to geoscynchronous transfer orbit from 6 tonnes to 10.5 tonnes. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ISRO Indian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Indian Space Research Organization, India. More...

Associated Programs
  • Insat Insat (Indian National Satellite System) was a multipurpose satellite system for telecommunications, broadcasting, meteorology and search and rescue services. More...

Associated Propellants
  • MON-3/MMH Monomethylhydrazine (CH3NHNH2) is a storable liquid fuel that found favour in the United States for use in orbital spacecraft engines. Its advantages in comparison to UDMH are higher density and slightly higher performance. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...
  • Sriharikota India's primary space launch center, located on the east coast of the peninsula with a firing sector over the Bay of Bengal. In use from 1971 to present. More...

Insat 3 Chronology


2000 March 21 - . 23:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G. LV Configuration: Ariane 5G V128 (505).
  • Insat 3B - . Mass: 2,778 kg (6,124 lb). Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 26108 . COSPAR: 2000-016B. Apogee: 35,987 km (22,361 mi). Perigee: 35,931 km (22,326 mi). Inclination: 1.2000 deg. Period: 1,444.90 min. Replaced the lost Insat 2D and carried a pure telecommunications payload of C, Ku and S band transponders. Stationed at 83 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 73 deg E in 2000. As of 5 September 2001 located at 83.07 deg E drifting at 0.014 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 82.94E drifting at 0.012W degrees per day.

2002 January 23 - . 23:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42L. LV Configuration: Ariane 42L-3 V147.
  • Insat 3C - . Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 27298 . COSPAR: 2002-002A. Apogee: 35,805 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,768 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Communications satellite. Launch delayed from January 16. The Ariane placed Insat 3C into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The Indian communications satellite had a mass of 1050 kg empty, 2750 kg fuelled. It carried 30 C-band and two S-band transponders. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 73.96E drifting at 0.007W degrees per day.

2003 April 9 - . 22:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G. LV Configuration: Ariane 5G V160 (514) Cities of Bordeaux/Colleferro.
  • Insat 3A - . Mass: 2,958 kg (6,521 lb). Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 27714 . COSPAR: 2003-013A. Apogee: 35,802 km (22,246 mi). Perigee: 35,771 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Return to flight of Ariane 5G after grounded following Ariane 5EC-A failure. Launch delayed from February 24, April 8, 2003. Satellite also had meteorological instruments. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 93.48E drifting at 0.009W degrees per day..

2003 September 27 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G. LV Configuration: Ariane 5G V162.
  • Insat 3E - . Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 27951 . COSPAR: 2003-043E. Apogee: 35,803 km (22,246 mi). Perigee: 35,769 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 0.0900 deg. Period: 1,436.06 min. The 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) took the satellite from its Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) of 649 km perigee and 36,000 km apogee with an orbital inclination of 7 deg. The LAM was fired for a total duration of 121 minutes in three phases on September 29, September 30 and October 1. A total velocity of 1460 m/sec was added by LAM at apogee. INSAT-3E had 1592 kg propellant at the time of its injection into GTO by Ariane-5 launch vehicle on September 28. After orbit raising operations, it had 510 kg of propellant remaining that is sufficient to arrest the drift and park it at its orbital slot as well as maintain the satellite in its orbit and controlling its orientation during its design life of more than 12 years. After the completion of the third apogee motor firing, the Solar Arrays and Antennae of INSAT-3E were deployed. The Sun tracking solar array of INSAT-3E had a total area of 29.6 sq m and it is designed to generate 2.9 kW (BoL) of power in orbit. The satellite had two deployable antennas and one fixed antenna. The satellite was expected to reach its final orbital slot of 55 deg E and be put into operation by November 2003. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 54.97E drifting at 0.001W degrees per day.

2005 December 21 - . 22:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5GS. LV Configuration: Ariane 5GS V169 (525).
  • Insat 4A - . Mass: 3,081 kg (6,792 lb). Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 28911 . COSPAR: 2005-049A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Delayed from late July 2005. Launch delayed from August 23, October, November 14 and 30, December 8, 16 and 20. Dry mass 1385 kg. The satellite was equipped with Ku-band and C-band transponders and would join other Insats in providing telecommunications and television services to the Indian subcontinent. After three engine burns the satellite reached geostationary altitude over the Indian Ocean at 04:30 GMT on 26 December, then deployed its solar arrays. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 83.00E drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.

2006 July 10 - . 12:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota SLP. Launch Vehicle: GSLV. LV Configuration: GSLV-F02. FAILURE: One of the liquid-fueled strap-on motors failed to develop thrust. By 40 seconds after launch the GSLV had veered outside of the launch corridor and the destruct signal was sent.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • Insat 4C - . Mass: 2,168 kg (4,779 lb). Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. COSPAR: F20060710.

2007 March 11 - . 22:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ECA. LV Configuration: Ariane 5ECA V175 (535).
  • Insat 4B - . Mass: 3,035 kg (6,691 lb). Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 30793 . COSPAR: 2007-007A. Apogee: 35,808 km (22,250 mi). Perigee: 35,766 km (22,223 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: ISRO communications satellite with C and Ku band channels, and a dry mass of 1335 kg.

2007 September 2 - . 12:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota SLP. Launch Vehicle: GSLV. LV Configuration: GSLV-F04.
  • Insat 4CR - . Mass: 2,130 kg (4,690 lb). Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 32050 . COSPAR: 2007-037A. Apogee: 35,790 km (22,230 mi). Perigee: 35,221 km (21,885 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 421.80 min. Summary: Ku-band television satellite..

2008 December 20 - . 22:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ECA.
  • Eutelsat W2M - . Payload: Insat. Mass: 3,460 kg (7,620 lb). Nation: France. Agency: Arianespace. Program: Eutelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 33460 . COSPAR: 2008-065B. Apogee: 35,843 km (22,271 mi). Perigee: 35,735 km (22,204 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Summary: Ku-band satellite designed to operate at 10 deg E. It used the Indian Insat I3K bus and was the first foreign sale of an Indian-built satellite. It made it to geosynchronous orbit but suffered a power system and was written off eight days after launch..

2010 November 26 - . 18:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ECA.
  • Hylas 1 - . Payload: I-2K Insat-2000. Mass: 2,570 kg (5,660 lb). Nation: UK. Manufacturer: ISRO. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 37237 . COSPAR: 2010-065A. Apogee: 36,052 km (22,401 mi). Perigee: 35,522 km (22,072 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Ka band communications; 2570 kg loaded / 1125 kg unfuelled..

2010 December 25 - . 10:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota SLP. Launch Vehicle: GSLV. LV Configuration: GSLV s/n F06. FAILURE: Destroyed at T+60 seconds after guidance commands from on-board computer to steering system of strapon boosters were cut off.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • Gsat 5P - . Payload: I-2K. Mass: 2,310 kg (5,090 lb). Nation: India. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. COSPAR: 2010-F04. Summary: Vehicle reached only 15 km. First use of stretched cryogenic third state. Gsat-5P communications satellite destroyed..

2011 May 20 - . 20:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ECA.
  • Gsat 8 - . Payload: Insat-3000. Mass: 3,150 kg (6,940 lb). Nation: India. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. COSPAR: 2011-022A. Apogee: 35,816 km (22,254 mi). Perigee: 35,757 km (22,218 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Communications satellite with a GAGAN navigation payload..

2011 July 15 - . 11:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. LV Family: PSLV. Launch Vehicle: PSLV XL.
  • Gsat 12 - . Payload: I-1K. Mass: 1,410 kg (3,100 lb). Nation: India. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 37746 . COSPAR: 2011-034A. Apogee: 35,806 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,768 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Communications satellite; used on-board propellant to reach geosynchronous position..

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