Antarctica Ground Station for Earth Observation Satellites (AGEOS)

ISRO has established the Antarctica Ground Station for Earth Observation Satellites (AGEOS), at Bharati Station, Larsemann Hills, Antarctica, for receiving Indian Remote sensing Satellite (IRS) data. This state-of-the-art advanced Ground station was commissioned during August 2013 and is receiving data from IRS satellites (like RESOURCESAT-2, RISAT-1, CARTOSAT-1) and transferring the same to NRSC, Shadnagar near Hyderabad. This extended data receive antenna system of Antarctica supplements Earth Observation (EO) data collection for ISRO. An Earth Station at Polar region has the advantage of visibility of 10 passes per day for each mission. This would provide global remote sensing data acquisition capability.

The remote sensing data recorded on the Solid State Recorder (SSR) onboard IRS Satellites are dumped at the AGEOS when the satellite passes over it and the SSR will be ready for recording data during the next pass.  The data dumped at AGEOS is being transferred to NRSC, Shadnagar through a link established using a Communication Satellite.  

In this regard, earlier a 3 m C-Band Earth station was also installed and commissioned at Maitri (71deg S, 11 deg E), Antarctica to provide a two-way Communication Link between Maitri, Antarctica and mainland India. At the time of installation and commissioning, this Earth station was characterised and tested using a 13 m antenna system at Master Control Facility (MCF), Hassan. Later on, a 7.2 m  C- Band station was also installed and commissioned at the National Centre for Antarctica & Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa to establish a dedicated communication link for round the clock operation. This was designed to operate at a very low elevation angle for the video conferencing, video streaming and internet browsing applications. The link operates at a data rate of around 1 Mbps between Maitri and NCAOR. This Satcom station is providing the vital communication support to the Indian scientific community for pursuing their research work at Maitri throughout the year. With the commissioning of the Earth station at NCAOR, Goa, the Indian station, Maitri has been brought in the ambit of World Wide Web.

The AGEOS station at Bharati, (69deg S and 76deg E) receives payload data from IRS Satellite Missions in S/X-Band daily. A communication satellite link between Bharati and two stations in India (NRSC, Shadnagar and NCAOR, Goa) has been established with a bandwidth of 40 Mbps, which transfers about 100 GB/day Payload data dumped at Antarctica Station to NRSC, Shadnagar. Further Ancillary processing of all acquired data at AGEOS is carried out at NRSC, Shadnagar, from wherein the pre-processed products are made available in a common Storage Area Network (SAN) for further processing. Apart from this, AGEOS plays a crucial role in carrying out Uplink of Tele commands to current Indian Remote sensing Missions namely, RISAT-1, RESOURCESAT-2, CARTOSAT-1, CARTOSAT-2, CARTOSAT-2A, CARTOSAT-2B, SARAL-1 and OCEANSAT-2, including the recently launched CARTOSAT-2 series satellite.

The AGEOS is continuously operated and maintained by the Engineers of ISRO who are under deputation to Bharati Station, Antarctica on a regular basis.

Bharati Station at Larsemann Hills

Bharati Station at Larsemann Hills

 

(Foreground) Pile foundation for Antenna Terminal  (Background) Control Station building at Bharati

(Foreground) Pile foundation for Antenna Terminal

(Background) Control Station building at Bharati

 

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SATCOM link with antarctica

Maitri Earth Station, Antarctica

Maitri Earth Station, Antarctica