ISRO’s GSLV-D5 and GSAT-14 Mission: What is that?

On 5th January, 2014, Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO launched the GSLV-D5 with the indigenous cryogenic engine. The Indian rocket engine was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SriHarikota spaceport, Andhra Pradesh, to establish the communication satellite GSAT-14 in Earth’s orbit.

GSLV-D5 moving towards Launch Pad | Source: ISRO (

GLSV-D5 at a glance

The GSLV-D5 or Geostationary Launch Vehicle is a launch rocket with three different stages including the Cryogenic engine at its third stage, burning liquid oxygen-oxidised liquid hydrogen. The success of Geostationary Launch Vehicle – D5 with Indian-built cryogenic engine has played a major role by cutting the expenses of a satellite launch by half. As told by ISRO’s chairman K.Radhakrishnan to IANS, the country used to pay more than 500 crore Indian Rupee, that is, $90 million dollars per launch of a 3.5 tonne satellite excluding the price of satellite, while Indian GSLV costs 220 crore Indian Rupees (INR) only. ISRO as its next step expects to build their next Launch vehicle of GSLV series in the coming time which can send a load of 3 to 4 tonnes. Currently, ISRO can only send satellites the weigh around 2 tonnes or less.

GSLV-D5 at a glance | Source: ISRO (

The success of cryogenic engine has been seen only after several failed attempts by ISRO. Earlier, two such rockets of ISRO, GSLV D3 and GSLV F06 carrying loads of 2220 kg and 2130 kg respectively had failed to launch in year 2010. GSLV-D5 is the only successful launch vehicle after between years 2007 and 2014.

What is GSAT-14?

GSAT-14 is an Indian geostationary communication satellite constructed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Before this, India has launched 22 other geostationary communication satellites to the planet’s orbit. As updated by ISRO, the 23rd satellite of India, GSAT-14 will have the following two objectives:
  1. To augment the In-orbit capacity of Extended C and Ku-band transponders.
  2. To provide a platform for new experiments.
Close up view of GSAT-14 in clean room | Source: ISRO (

The cuboid-shaped GSAT-14 has two solar arrays, each having two panels which will be able to generate 2600 watts power for the satellite.  The satellite is provided light-weight Lithium-Ion batteries to power the system during the eclipse period. The GSAT-14 has been built to provide services for about 12 years of time.

Payloads of GSLV-14

Payloads of GSAT-14 | Source: ISRO (


GSAT-14 has been introduced with the following new technologies by ISRO:

  • Fiber Optic Gyro (FOG)

A Fiber Optic Gyro or FOG is a gyroscope that is capable of providing an exact and accurate rotational rate information and higher resolutions than that of a ring laser gyroscope. Fiber Optic Gyroscope is also used in inertial navigation systems of various missiles and under water navigation.

  • Active Pixel Sun Sensor

Active Pixel Sensor or APS is an image sensor that consists of a MEMS or Micro Electro-Mechanical system, photo-detectors and active amplifiers. It forms the images as the Sun illuminates the pixel sensors. It has an array of pixel sensors contained by an integrated circuitry.

  • Ka band beacon propagation studies

To study the attenuation and sky noise caused by rain and water vapour to the signals and related issues with Ka band beacon propagation. It is noted that Ka band has the frequencies ranging from 26.5 to 40 GigaHertz.

  • Thermal control coating experiments

The same experiments/technologies were included in the GSAT-4 satellite program in year 2010, but the mission had met failure.

GSLVD5 lift off - View 6 | Source: ISRO (

Photos during the launch of GSLV-D5 rocket

GSLVD5 lift off - View 1 | Source: ISRO (

GSLVD5 lift off - View 2 | Source: ISRO (

More photos before the launch

Indigenous Cryogenic Engine photo | Source: ISRO (

Cryogenic Engine being tested at High Altitude Test (HAT) facility | Source: ISRO (

GSAT-14 undergoing Electro Magnetic Interference & Electro Magnetic Compatibility Test | Source: ISRO (

Indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage being lifted from its transporter at the Vehicle Assembly Building | Source: ISRO (
ISRO’s GSLV-D5 and GSAT-14 Mission: What is that? ISRO’s GSLV-D5 and GSAT-14 Mission: What is that? Reviewed by Ank Arya on 04:20:00 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.