The first Indian astronomy satellite Astrosat was launched on September 28th, 2015, by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from Sriharikota, on a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket.
Astrosat has unprecedented capability to simultaneously observe cosmic objects in visible light, the ultraviolet waveband and the entire X-ray waveband from very low energy to very high energy X-rays. This unique ability to observe the universe in multi-wavelengths, simultaneously, is aimed at performing cutting-edge research in astrophysics.
The above image shows a tilted view of Astrosat with folded solar arrays wrapped in a protective covering.
Researchers from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) have led this multi institutional effort and have made significant contributions to the design, fabrication and development of three out of five payloads that are on board Astrosat.
The Large Area Xenon Proportional Counters (LAXPC), a Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT), and a Cadmium-Zinc-Telluride Imager (CZTI), all of which will observe the universe in the X-ray wavebands, are the three payloads built in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (DAA) of TIFR Colaba, Mumbai.
These instruments demonstrate a major Indian technological advance. In addition, DAA/TIFR has significantly contributed to the twin Ultraviolet Imaging Telescopes (UVIT) on board Astrosat.
The above image shows the integrated PSLV-C30 core stage with strap-ons at the mobile service tower 40 minutes prior to launch.
Scientific data obtained through Astrosat will be distributed from a few payload operation centers (POC), two of which will be located at TIFR. These two POCs, will control the operations of SXT and LAXPC, making DAA/TIFR a major center of worldwide X-ray astronomical activities for the next few years.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense