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ISRO Heralds Pvt Sector Assembly of Satellites

Bengaluru: When the eighth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS1H) takes to the sky on August 31 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be heralding the start of private sector assembly and testing of satellites.

This would be a giant leap for ISRO shifting to total integration of satellite assembly and testing from procuring components, sub- systems and systems from the private sector.

The spacecraft weighing 1425 kg and similar to seven other IRNSS series of satellites now perched atop PSLV-C39, the XL version of PSLV equipped with six strap on boosters has been totally assembled, tested and validated for launch by a team of 70 engineers and technicians from a consortium of private sector companies led by Alpha Design Technologies over the last six months.

The other companies included three from Bengaluru and one each from Mysuru and Hyderabad.

ISRO, on its bid to fast track with around a dozen spacecraft launches planned in a year, decided to take the assistance of the private sector and IRNSS-1H is the first to be realised.

Though, according to senior ISRO officials, only 25 per cent of the work had been realised by the private sector, moving forward their contribution could be as high as 90 per cent in the next launch of IRNSS-1I scheduled for April next year.

Alpha Design Technologies, Chairman, Col. H.S. Shankar said it would be a pride moment for his company to take up this gigantic task that involved utmost precision and topset skills.

”It was really hand holding by the ISRO technocrats as our engineers and technicians assembled the components and systems under the guidance of ISRO scientists,” he added.