AstroSat: In-depth Overview


#GS 03 Science and Technology

For Prelims


  • AstroSat is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission which is aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously.
  • ISRO has made an announcement of opportunity (AO) to allow scientists and researchers to analyse data from the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission, AstroSat.
  • Astrosat satellite was launched from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on September 28, 2015, using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-30.
  • AstroSat was built as a collaboration between IUCAA, ISRO, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (Bengaluru), and Physical Research Laboratory (Ahmedabad), among others.

Features of AstroSat

  • One of the unique features of AstroSat mission is that its ability to do simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.
  • The satellite can cover the energy bands of Ultraviolet (Near and Far), limited optical and X-ray regime (0.3 keV to 100keV).
  • The minimum useful life of the AstroSat satellite is expected to be 5 years.

Payload of AstroSat

Astrosat contains five main scientific payloads.

They are as follows:

  • One Soft X-ray Telescope or SXT
  • Three Large Area Xenon Proportional Counters or LAXPCs
  • One Cadmium-Zinc-Telluride Imager or CZTI
  • Two UltraViolet Imaging Telescopes or UVITs – while one is for the visible and near-UV channels, the other is for far-UV
  • Three Scanning Sky Monitors or SSMs