Health Policy

India gets new satellite to improve computer connectivity in remote areas

India would launch a satellite in June next year to provide computer connectivity in remote villages, a Space Department official has said. GSAT-4 which will have digital connectivity on board, is meant for data transfers from computers at remote villages, said Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, G Madhavan Nair, at the international conference on e-science and grid computing. ISRO officials said GSAT-4 is a technology demonstrator. Its communication payload consists of multi-beam Ka-band beam pipe and regenerative transponder and navigation payload. Nair said the satellite would initially provide computer connectivity to a few hundred remote villages in the country on an experimental basis. “Ultimately, it has to grow into a national system (an intiative whereby satellite should provide such service to all remote villages in the country eventually)”, he said. Nair, also Secretary in the Department of Space, said data transfer through satellites is common, as also high bandwidth, point-to-point connectivity and V-Sat terminals but “reaching out to villages and to make sure that villagers benefit from advanced technology of computers, data base and applications..that’s going to be unique”. “Even today, more than 100,000 villages in the country don’t have any form of connectivity”. He said GSAT-4 is a “totally different concept”. “We are now using transponders for sending up the signals and relaying it… Here (in GSAT-4), it’s something like on-board switch which will be able to select the data from one point and distribute to other points depending on the connectivity needed”.

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