Thursday, Aug 21, 2003
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By N. Gopal Raj
The 2,750 kg. Insat-3E had been flown to French Guyana in mid-July and was scheduled to be launched along with two European satellites by an Ariane 5 rocket on September 3. The Indian Space Research Organisation requested postponement of the launch after a Japanese electronic manufacturer issued an alert concerning the reliability of a part they had supplied and which has been used in the Insat-3E.
The part involved is said to be the Electronic Power Conditioner (EPC) which is used in the satellite's Solid State Power Amplifiers (SSPA). The SSPAs produce the radio waves which the satellite broadcasts to the ground.
The alert issued by the Japanese manufacturer covers only a few batches supplied by them. But it means that the EPCs in some 20 SSPAs on the Insat-3E have to be changed. "Fortunately, there is enough access to make this change at French Guyana itself,'' remarked one senior ISRO official. Rectifying the SSPAs on the Insat-3E is expected to take three to four weeks.
This is not the first time that a Japanese-made electronic component on the Insats has given trouble. On the Insat 2A and 2B, the first operational communication satellites to be built within the country, some of the transistors used in the SSPAs proved defective. Several transponders on both satellites failed as a result of the problem.
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