The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) second attempt at launching the Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) — a first-of-its-kind state-of-the art earth observation (EO) satellite — is further delayed owing to a voltage issue that scientists describe is a “minor power problem”.

The launch of GISAT-1 was first scheduled for March 5, 2020, but was scrubbed minutes before the 26-hour countdown was to begin on March 4, 2020. And, earlier this year, ISRO had said it was confident of launching the satellite by the end of March or the first week of April.

“The satellite has some voltage fluctuation issue which is delaying the launch,” one scientist in the know told TOI.

Once launched on a GSLV, the satellite, which will add to ISRO’s constellation of EO satellites, will be placed in the geostationary or the Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO). Once in the GEO, it will subsequently be positioned in geostationary orbit, about 36,000km above Earth’s equator, using onboard propulsion systems.

Confirming the voltage issue, another scientist said: “It looks to be a very minor problem, but we don’t want to take any chances. You know in the space systems when there are some indications — even though there may be no major problem — we want to correct it.”

The scientists said that the problem was in the power bus — electric bus system — but that it appears to be only a monitoring issue.

“We are working on the problem and the launch should happen in the last week of this month, or may even get pushed to May,” a scientist said.

Designed to provide near real-time images of large areas of region of interest at frequent intervals, the satellite will hold the potential of even aiding the country’s armed forces to plan operations.

“Operating from geostationary orbit, GISAT-1 will facilitate near real time observation of the Indian sub-continent, under cloud free condition, at frequent intervals,” ISRO had said last year.

Weighing 2,268 kg, the satellite will also provide spectral signatures for agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud properties, snow, glaciers and oceanography.

It will be equipped with six-band multispectral visible and near-InfraRed imaging sensor with 42m resolution, 158-band hyper-spectral visible & near-InfraRed sensor with 318m resolution and 256-band hyper-spectral short wave-InfraRed sensor with 191m resolution.