Communication Satellite Current Affairs - 2020

India’s communication satellite GSAT-18 successfully launched from French Guiana

India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully launched from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana.

The satellite was launched on board of heavy duty Ariane-5 VA-231 rocket of Arianespace. It was successfully injected into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

GSAT-18 was the 20th satellite from ISRO to be launched by the European space agency and overall 280th mission of the Arianespace rocket launcher family.

Key Features of GSAT-18

  • GSAT-18 is indigenously built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It weighs around 3,404 kgs at lift-off. It has a mission life of about 15 years.
  • It carries 48 communication transponders including Ku-band beacon for accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
  • These transponders will provide services in Upper Extended C-band, Normal C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum.
  • GSAT-18 will provide services like television, telecommunication, VSAT and digital satellite news gathering.
  • The satellite will play important role in strengthening ISRO’s current fleet of 14 operational telecommunication satellites.
  • It will also enable continuity of vital communication services by replacing ageing satellites of ISRO. Master Control Facility (MCF) of ISRO at Hassan, Karnataka will control the satellite.

Communication satellite GSAT-15 successfully launched from French Guiana

Indigenously developed Communication satellite GSAT-15 of Indian Space Research Organisation was successfully launched from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana.

It was launched by Ariane-5 VA-227 rocket (launch vehicle) of Arianespace into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) along with Arabsat-6B (BADR-7) satellite of Airbus Defence and Space.

About GSAT-15

  • GSAT-15 is a high power satellite being inducted into the INSAT/GSAT communication satellite system and weighs around 3,164 kg.
  • Carries a total of 24 communication transponders in Ku-band along with GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands
  • Carries a Ku-band beacon which helps in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
  • It is the 3rd satellite to carry GAGAN payload after GSAT-8 and GSAT-10 which already are providing navigation services from orbit.
  • GSAT-15 has in-orbit operational life of 12 years and will be positioned at 93.5 degree east longitude.


  • GSAT-15 would enable ISRO to provide continuity of Ku-band services to Indian users.
  • It would also provide other location based services to various services in the Indian region.
  • Navigation payload GAGAN in the GSAT-15 would provide orbital backup to ensure safety of life navigation services in civil aviation sector.

GSAT-15 is the 19th payload launched by Arianespace for ISRO. In 2016, it is going to launch other 2 communication satellites namely GSAT-17 and GSAT-18.

It should be noted the Arianespace is a multinational company from Europe that was founded in 1980 as the world’s first commercial space launch service provider.