Chennai, April 22
The Indian space agency has successfully disposed of the communication satellite GSAT-12 in a post mission disposal (PMD) operation last month.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the post mission disposal operation of GSAT-12 was completed on March 23, 2023.
GSAT-12 is the twenty-third Geosynchronous Earth Orbital (GEO) satellite to undergo PMD before decommissioning, ISRO said.
The satellite carrying 12 extended C band transponders was launched on July 15, 2011. It was located at 83 degrees E longitude till March 2021. After the launch of its replacement satellite CMS-01 in 2020, it was later relocated to 47.96 degrees E longitude. The satellite served for more than a decade.
The GEO regime is one of the most populated and highly utilised regions. Internationally accepted space debris mitigation guidelines by the UN and IADC recommend disposing of an object away from the GEO region at its end-of-life.
The recommended practice is to re-orbit the object to a nearly circular “graveyard” orbit sufficiently above the GEO region so that the orbit would not decay back into the GEO-protected zone under the influence of perturbation forces, such as non-uniformity of Earth shape, Sun’s Moon’s gravity, solar radiation pressure, etc., within another 100 years, ISRO said.
Hence, the final disposal orbit must meet specific criteria on the minimum raise in perigee altitude depending on the object’s reflectivity, mass, shape, and size. The graveyard orbit also needs to be nearly circular (very low orbital eccentricity, less than or equal to 0.003). IANS