28 September 2015

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11 Facts about ASTROSAT India’s first Multiwavelength Astronomy Satellite

11 Facts about ASTROSAT India’s first Multiwavelength Astronomy Satellite

ASTROSAT, India's first space research observatory, was successfully launched into orbit by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
The expected operating life time of the satellite will be five years.

Below are the important facts about ASTROSAT India’s first Multiwavelength Astronomy Satellite

ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space observatory. This scientific satellite mission endeavors for a more detailed understanding of our universe.  One of the unique features of ASTROSAT mission is that it enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.

ASTROSAT will observe universe in the optical, Ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas most other scientific satellites are capable of observing a narrow range of wavelength band. Multi-wavelength observations of ASTROSAT can be further extended with coordinated observations using other spacecraft and ground based observations. All major astronomy Institutions and some Universities in India will participate in these observations.

ASTROSAT has a lift-off mass of about 1513 kg.  It will be launched into a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 deg to the equator by PSLV-C30. After injection into Orbit, the two solar panels of ASTROSAT are automatically deployed in quick succession. The spacecraft control centre at Mission Operations Complex (MOX) of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore will manage the satellite during its mission life.

The science data gathered by five payloads of ASTROSAT are telemetered to the ground station at MOX. The data is then processed, archived and distributed by Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC) located at Byalalu, near Bangalore.

The scientific objectives of ASTROSAT mission are –
To understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes
Estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars
Study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy
Detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky
Perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region

Payloads of ASTROSAT -

Five payloads of ASTROSAT are chosen to facilitate a deeper insight into the various astrophysical processes occurring in the various types of astronomical objects constituting our universe.  These payloads rely on the visible, Ultraviolet and X-rays coming from distant celestial sources.

The Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT] capable of observing the sky in the Visible, Near Ultraviolet and Far Ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum –

Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC] is designed for study the variations in the emission of X-rays from sources like X-ray binaries, Active Galactic Nuclei and other cosmic sources.

Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) is designed for studying how the X-ray spectrum of 0.3-8 keV range coming from distant celestial bodies varies with time.

Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI), functioning in the X-ray region, extends the capability of the satellite to sense X-rays of high energy in 10-100 keV range.

Scanning Sky Monitor(SSM), is intended to scan the sky for long term monitoring of bright X-ray sources in binary stars, and for the detection and location of sources that become bright in X-rays for a short duration of time.

The satellite weighs over 1500 kgs and has been assembled at the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO's Satellite Centre in Bengaluru. It took the agency Rs. 178 crore and 10 years to make it. The idea was conceived more than 20 years ago. The six other satellites (four from the US and one each from Indonesia and Canada) together weighed 118 kg.

ASTROSAT is seen as a smaller version of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope that was launched in 1990. It will be able to detect objects in multiple wavelengths such as X-rays, but with far lower precision than Hubble, scientists have said.

The following institutes / centers have significantly contributed to the ASTROSAT payload development.
• Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)
• Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA)
• ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC)
• Laboratory for Electro-Optics (LEOS)
• Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)
• ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU)
• University of Leicester (UoL)
• Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
• Inter University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA)
• Raman Research Institute (RRI)

Download Astrosat Handbook Pdf

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Monday, September 28, 2015

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Destination Infinity September 28, 2015  

Good. Wonder when ISRO will send a manned mission to the space... If there is a good purpose behind all this space exploration, then it is even better.

Destination Infinity