For the first time, India’s space scientists have developed electric propulsion technology that is expected to boost the life of geostationary satellites by upto five years.
In other words, the satellites which today have a lifespan of ten years, could last upto 15 years.
The system – plasma thrusters – would be tested in GSAT-4 spacecraft slated to be launched on board GSLV later this year, ISRO chairman Madhavan Nair told PTI.
“Electric propulsion is going to be a unique thing. It will be used in GSAT-4. This is a concept we are going to prove in this (GSAT-4). Once proven, it can be adopted as standard for future geostationary orbits”, he said.
So far, ISRO had been using chemical propulsion for station-keeping, altitude control, precision spacecraft control, stabilisation and orientation.