It will carry Singapore's DS-SAR Satellite and 6 co-passenger satellites to near-equatorial orbit
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to hit another milestone in space exploration with the launch of the PSLV-C56 mission on July 30, 2023, at 6:30 am IST from the renowned Satish Dhawan Space Centre located in Sriharikota. This upcoming mission is highly anticipated as it will carry Singapore's DS-SAR Satellite as the main payload, along with six other co-passenger satellites, into a near-equatorial orbit using the polar satellite launch vehicle.

The DS-SAR satellite is the result of a collaboration between DSTA (representing the Government of Singapore) and ST Engineering. The primary objective of this satellite is to cater to the satellite imagery needs of various governmental agencies in Singapore. Additionally, ST Engineering plans to utilize the DS-SAR for providing multi-modal and highly responsive imagery and geospatial services to their commercial clientele.

The remarkable feature of the DS-SAR is its Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which enables it to deliver all-weather day and night coverage. Furthermore, it carries an impressive capability of imaging at an astounding 1-meter resolution at full polarimetry, making it an invaluable asset for both governmental and commercial applications.

Accompanying the DS-SAR satellite on this mission are six co-passenger satellites with diverse objectives. First, we have VELOX-AM, a technology demonstration microsatellite weighing 23 kg. The second is ARCADE, an experimental satellite aimed at exploring Atmospheric Coupling and Dynamics. The third is SCOOB-II, a 3U nanosatellite carrying a technology demonstrator payload.

NuLIoN, developed by NuSpace, is the fourth satellite, also a 3U nanosatellite but specialized in providing seamless IoT connectivity for both urban and remote regions. The fifth satellite is Galassia-2, another 3U nanosatellite that will be orbiting at low earth orbit. The final satellite is the ORB-12 STRIDER, developed as part of an international collaboration.

The configuration of the PSLV-C56 will be in its core-alone mode, similar to the previous PSLV-C55 mission. This mode does not utilize solid rocket strap-on motors in its first stage, making the launch vehicle incredibly flexible and adaptable to meet various mission requirements.

ISRO announced through a tweet that the New Space India Limited (NSIL), a central public sector undertaking under the Department of Space, has taken charge of acquiring the PSLV-C56 for the launch of the 360-kg DS-SAR satellite from DSTA & ST Engineering in Singapore.

The primary focus of this mission is to deploy the DS-SAR satellite and the six co-passenger satellites into a near-equatorial orbit using the polar satellite launch vehicle. The DS-SAR satellite's predominant purpose is to cater to the satellite imagery requirements of various Singaporean governmental agencies. Additionally, the satellite's advanced capabilities will be harnessed by ST Engineering to provide top-notch multi-modal and highly responsive imagery and geospatial services to their commercial customers.

On the other hand, the six co-passenger satellites will serve various technology demonstration and IoT connectivity purposes, both in urban areas and remote locations.

As the countdown to the launch commences, scientists, engineers, and space enthusiasts worldwide are eagerly looking forward to witnessing another successful mission by ISRO. The PSLV-C56 mission is a testament to India's prowess in space technology and a prestigious embodiment of international collaboration and cooperation in the pursuit of exploring the final frontier. Once the satellites are deployed into their designated orbits, they are expected to influence sectors, including communications, Earth observation, and technology development.