Author: Narayan PrasadPublisher: Observer Research FoundationYear: 2015Language: EnglishPages: 52ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
India has always given importance to the development of space technology for peaceful purposes. The Indian space programme is Ione of the biggest national space programmes in the world, which has transitioned from its purely research orientation in the 1960s to a commercial orientation in the 1990s. The Indian Space ResearchOrganisation (ISRO), in its early years, developed small satellites (for example, the Rohini satellite series) which carried out several scientific experiments. Since then, the requirement of space-based citizen services has led ISRO to build larger satellite systems such as the IRS (Indian Remote Sensing), the INSAT (Indian National Satellite System) and the IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) for mapping, navigation, meteorology, communications, among other services.This paper explores the extent of proliferation of small satellite related activities in India. Although satellites below 1,000 kg are generally referred to as small satellites, the paper considers only satellite platforms with a mass of less than 150 kg, due to their proliferation across the world in the past decade. An effort has been made to draw parallels from across the globe at various levels in the current use of small satellite platforms, be it in academia, civilian space agencies, industries or defence establishments.