ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, the lead Centre of ISRO for design, development, fabrication and testing of all Indian made satellites is celebrating its 40 years of fruitful existence on May 11, 2012. It was May 10, 1972 that the agreement between India and erstwhile USSR was signed to build the first Indian Satellite 'ARYABHATA'-which heralded the satellite activities in the country.
Since then, the Centre has built more than 50 satellites that cover a wide spectrum of technologies and applications such as TV broadcasting, telecommunications, Tele-medicine, Distance education, Radio networking, Disaster warning and a number of remote sensing applications in natural resources survey, monitoring and management. Satellites built by ISAC are the key elements of national infrastructure.
From a modest beginning in the industrial sheds of Peenya, Bangalore, ISAC was shifted to its present main campus at HAL Airport Road in the 1980s. The ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment (ISITE) was established in 2006 near Marathahalli for integration and testing of large, high power communication spacecrafts. The Center houses sophisticated design, development and fabrication facilities besides specialized R&D labs. A Space Research Facility (SRF) to augment the assembly and integration capacities and to support special projects of national importance is coming up at Chellakere, near Chitradurga.
In addition to building communication, remote sensing and space science application satellite, the centre has now embarked on a new programme to build satellites to provide navigation applications like position and timing services for civil aviation and strategic sectors.
It may be recollected that Chandrayaan-I, India's first mission to moon which made the path breaking discovery of water on moon, was built here. The Radar Imaging Satellite-1 (RISAT-1) which was launched on 26th April, 2012 is yet another feather on ISAC's cap. The Centre has more than 20 percent women engineers, including Project Directors of some major satellite projects.
Presently, under the leadership of Dr. T.K Alex, Director, ISAC more than 7 communication satellites, a meteorological satellite, space science missions like Chandrayaan-2, ASTROSAT and Space Capsule Recovery Experiment - 2 (SRE-2) and a Joint mission with France - SARAL are under various phases of execution. Many more satellites are in the planning phase.
The function will be inaugurated by Dr.K.Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO, in Prof. Satish Dhawan Auditorium at the Centre. Pioneers of Indian Space Programme like Prof. U R Rao, Dr. K Kasturirangan, Former Chairmen of ISRO will grace the occasion.