The Indian National Satellite (INSAT) systems which are placed in Geo-stationary orbits are one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the Asia-Pacific region. In the 1980s, it initiated a major revolution in India’s communications sector and sustained the same later.
Established in 1983 with commissioning of INSAT-1B, it initiated a major revolution in India’s communications sector and sustained the same later. INSAT space segment consists of 24 satellites out of which 9 are in service (INSAT-2E, INSAT- 3A, INSAT-4B, INSAT-3C, INSAT-3E, KALPANA-1, INSAT-4A, INSAT-4CR and GSAT- 8).
The system provides a total of about 175 transponders in the C, Extended C and Ku-bands. Being a multipurpose satellite system, INSAT provides services to telecommunications, television broadcasting, weather forecasting, disaster warning and Search and Rescue operations.
The INSAT system serves many important sectors of the Indian economy. Foremost amongst them is Telecommunications sector wherein INSAT is providing Mobile Satellite Service besides providing VSAT services. Today, more than 25,000 Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) are in operation.
Similarly, Television broadcasting and redistribution have been immensely benefited by INSAT. Thanks to INSAT, more than 900 million people in India have access to TV through about 1400 terrestrial rebroadcast transmitters.
In addition to this, social development through exclusive channels for training and developmental education has become possible through INSAT. And, a Telemedicine network to take super especially medical services to the remote and rural population has become a reality.
The network now covers 152 hospitals- 120 remote rural hospitals and 32 super specialty hospitals in major cities. The launch of EDUSAT, India’s first thematic satellite dedicated exclusively for educational services, has provided further fillip to the educational services offered by the INSAT system.
INSAT system is also providing meteorological services through Very High Resolution Radiometer and CCD cameras on some of its spacecraft. This apart, cyclone monitoring through meteorological imaging and issue of warnings on impending cyclones through disaster warning receivers have been operationalised. For this, 350 receivers have been installed along the east and west coasts of India.