Bangalore: After having picked the industry consortium for productionisation of ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Space PSU NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) is working on issuing an expression of interest (EoI) for the latest rocket from the space agency — the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

The PSU, which was also looking to productionise the GSLV MK-III, which is now only expected to happen later. NSIL, chairman and managing director, Radhakrishnan D, said: “Next will be the SSLV. We are in the process of preparing the EoI for it, while GSLV MK-III will come at a later stage.”

ISRO has developed the SSLV to meet launch demand requirements in a cost-effective manner. SSLV is a three-stage all-solid vehicle with a capability to launch up to 500 kg satellite mass into Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

While it is configured with three solid propulsion stages, SSLV will also have a liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) as a terminal stage.

“SSLV is 2m in diameter and 34m in length with a lift off weight of around 120 tonnes. SSLV is capable of launching around 500kg satellites in a 500km planar orbit. The key features of SSLV are low cost, with low turn-around time, flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites, launch on demand feasibility, minimal launch infrastructure requirements, etc,” the VSSC adds.

With the selection of the consortium for the contract to manufacture five PSLVs complete, NSIL is now in the process of finalising all the service-level agreements and negotiating terms and conditions. “Once all the terms and conditions are negotiated, the formal agreement will be signed,” Radhakrishnan said.

The TOI was the first to report that the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)- L&T consortium has been selected for the PSLV contract.

Small Satellite Platform

Radhakrishnan further said that NSIL’s interest exploratory note (IEN) on transfer of technology of the small satellite platform — Indian Mini Satellite-1 (IMS-1) Bus — has got good response. “We have got responses from more than 10 firms. We will work out the modalities of transferring the technology to these firms. This should happen soon,” he said.

The TOI was the first to report about the IEN in mid-March when the department of space (DoS) authorised NSIL for the technology transfer.

The platform will enable low-cost access to space by providing a dedicated platform for payloads for various types of satellites.

According to NSIL: “The UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) has developed the small satellite platform which would enable low-cost access to space by providing dedicated platform for payloads for earth imaging, ocean and atmospheric studies, microwave remote sensing and space science missions with a quick turnaround time.”.

A satellite bus or spacecraft bus is a model on which satellites or spacecraft are often based. The bus is the infrastructure of the spacecraft that provides locations for payload.

According to ISRO, the small satellite project is envisaged to provide a platform for stand-alone payloads for earth imaging and science missions within a quick turnaround time and “for the making of versatile platforms for different kinds of payloads, two kinds of buses have been configured and developed: The IMS-1 and IMS-2 buses”.