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ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC): Supports Astrosat Mission

Deep Space Network Stations DSN-32 and DSN-18 at Byalalu near BengaluruIndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), over the years, established a comprehensive network of ground stations to provide Telemetry,Tracking and Command (TTC) support to Satellite and Launch vehicle missions. These facilities are grouped under ISRO Telemetry, Tracking & Command Network (ISTRAC) with its headquarters at Bengaluru, India. The major objectives of ISTRAC are: estimation of the preliminary orbits of satellites injected into space, carrying out mission operations for all operational remote sensing and scientific satellites in normal phase, operation and maintenance of the ground segment for Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) and development of radars and associated systems for meteorological applications and launch vehicle tracking. In addition, ISTRAC has also been mandated to provide space operations support for Deep Space Missions of ISRO and to provide active support for Search & Rescue, Disaster Management and a host Space Communication Hub services for societal applications. 

In order to realise these objectives, ISTRAC has established a network of ground stations at Bengaluru, Lucknow, Mauritius, Sriharikota (SHAR I & II), Port Blair, Thiruvananthapuram, Brunei, Biak (Indonesia) and Deep Space Network Stations DSN-32 and DSN-18 at Byalalu near Bengaluru. The Mission Operations Complex (MOX) has been established at Bengaluru for round-the-clock mission operations for all remote sensing and scientific satellites. All network stations of ISTRAC are connected to MOX through dedicated high-performance satellite/terrestrial communication links.

Towards the realisation of the ground segment of IRNSS, ISTRAC has established a network of stations to support IRNSS satellites consisting of ISRO Navigation Centre (INC) at Byalalu, four CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) Ranging stations at Hassan, Bhopal, Jodhpur and Shillong and twelve IRNSS Range and Integrity Monitoring Stations at Bengaluru, Hassan, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Shillong, Dehradun, Port Blair, Mahendragiri, Lucknow, Kolkata, Udaipur and Shadnagar and one IRNSS Network Timing Facility (IRNWT) at Bengaluru


Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) Operations of Astrosat

Astrosat is an exclusive Astronomy Mission by ISRO, configured to observe the celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously. The satellite was successfully launched by ISRO's workhorse launch vehicle PSLV into a 650 km orbit on September 28, 2015 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. ISTRAC provided the ground systems support for this prestigious science mission, in addition to providing TTC support for the Launch Vehicle.

ISTRAC has the responsibility of providing the ground support for all the phases of this mission too. Astrosat Ground Segment comprises TTC and Payload Data reception stations, Satellite Control Centre (SCC) and Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC). Astrosat TTC  and Payload Ground Station along with  ISSDC  is co-located in the Indian Deep Space Network Complex (IDSN), Byalalu. All these three operational areas are connected through communication links.

Astrosat Antenna is dedicated for Astrosat TTC and Payload data reception operations. The station is tailored to meet the mission requirements in conjunction with the on-board RF systems. A standby TTC and payload data reception station is also made available at SCC, Bengaluru. The ground station transfers the TTC data to the control centre and payload data to Science Data Centre.

Earlier, ISTRAC had supported the historic missions of ISRO like Chandrayaan-I and Mars Orbiter Mission apart from the regular supports to all the Remote Sensing / Low Earth Orbiting satellites.