India’s satellite-based networking capabilities
Rukmini will provide networking capabilities with various Indian Navy’s assets. During Theatre-level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) in the Bay of Bengal in 2014, Rukmini was able to network about 60 ships and 75 aircraft seamlessly.
[ By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd)
I] ndia launched its first dedicated defence satellite, GSAT-7, for the Indian Navy on August 30, 2013. GSAT-7 was successfully launched by the Ariane-5 launch vehicle of Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana. Ariane-5 precisely placed GSAT-7 into the intended geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
GSAT-7 is an advanced communication satellite built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to provide wide range of service spectrum from low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication. GSAT-7 communication payload is designed to provide communication capabilities to users over a wide oceanic region including the Indian land mass. The GSAT-7 payload design includes multi-band communication. It was thought essential to have an integrated platform for the Indian Navy’s exclusive use. Earlier, satellite communication in ships was through Inmarsat, a major provider of global mobile satellite communications services.
Indian Navy’s first dedicated satellite, Rukmini, went into oper- ational mode soon after October 13, 2013 and GSAT-7 reached its GTO position at 70 degree east longitude. GSAT-7 is not designed for auxiliary functions like ‘Targeting Guidance,’ which are the essentially the features for a ‘surveillance satellite’.
Post-Mumbai 26/11 terrorist attack, a slew of measures such as coastal radar chain and AIS network to improve India’s maritime domain awareness (MDA) off and along the coast were initiated. Efforts are on to set up the NC3I network and to establish a National MDA system to seamlessly integrate information from multiple sources and maritime agencies and geospatial applications are the core of most of these projects.
Rukmini will provide networking capabilities with various Indian Navy’s assets. During Theatre-level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) in the Bay of Bengal in 2014, Rukmini was able to network about 60 ships and 75 aircraft seamlessly. The intention of Indian Navy is to use this geostationary naval communication and surveillance satellite to cover activities up to Malacca Strait in the east and the Strait of Hormuz to the west. Rukmini has a