Polar Satellite

Launch Vehicle


Indian Space Research Organisation

Architecture | Performances | Industrial Team

Historical Background
The Indian Space Resarch Organisation (ISRO) initiated the development of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in the 1980s, based on the technology developed with the previous SLV-3 and ASLV launchers. The PSLV was designed to loft ISRO’s Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites on behalf of India’s policy for autonomous access to space.
First launch failed on September 20, 1993, due to a software error at stage 2/3 separation. Second and third development flights were successful on October 15, 1994, and March 21, 1996.
An improved PSLV is due to make its debut in 1997.
A Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) derived from the PSLV is also planned to be introduced in 1998.
Launch Sites
Sriharikota Range (SHAR), Andhra Pradesh (13° 41′ N / 80° 14′ E)
Launch Log
Major References
The Orbital Launcher Report
Vol. 1 – N°3
Vol. 1 – N°4
Vol. 2 – N°6
Vol. 3 – N°6

Number of Stages 4 + 6 boosters
Total Length 44.2 m
Gross Lift Off Mass 283,000 kg
Strap-On Boosters
Designation PSOM (S9) six units
Diameter 1 m
Length 10 m
Total Mass 10,930 kg each
Propellant HTPB
Propellant Mass 8,920 kg each
Burning Time 49 sec.
Specific Impulse 262 sec. vacuum
Average Thrust 422 kN sea level, each
First Stage
Designation PS1 (S125)
Diameter 2.8 m
Length 20.3 m
Total Mass 160,200 kg
Propellant HTPB
Propellant Mass 129,000 kg
Burning Time 97 sec.
Specific Impulse 264 sec. vacuum
Average Thrust 4,860 kN / 3,587 kN vacuum / sea level
Second Stage
Designation PS2 (L37.5)
Diameter 2.8 m
Length 11.5 m
Total Mass 43,000 kg
Propellant UDMH + N2O4
Propellant Mass 37,500 kg
Engine Vikas derived from Ariane’s Viking 4
Burning Time 150 sec.
Specific Impulse 293 sec. vacuum
Average Thrust 725 kN vacuum
Third Stage
Designation PS3 (S7)
Diameter 2 m
Length 3.5 m
Total Mass 8,300 kg
Propellant HTPB
Propellant Mass 7,200 kg
Burning Time 75.2 sec.
Specific Impulse 291 sec. vacuum
Average Thrust 328.7 kN vacuum
Fourth Stage
Designation PS4 (L2)
Diameter 1.34 m
Length 2.6 m
Total Mass 2,920 kg
Propellant MMH + N2O4
Propellant Mass 2,000 kg
Engines 2 x LVS
Burning Time 420 sec.
Specific Impulse 307 sec. vacuum
Average Thrust 7.5 kN vacuum, each
Diameter 3.2 m
Length 8.3 m

Low Earth Orbit

2,900 kg

400 km, 43°
Sun-Synchronous Orbit

1,000 kg

900 km, 99° limited by azimut constraints
Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit

450 kg

GTO, 18° limited by azimut constraints

Industrial Team
Prime Contractor
ISRO Vikhram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)
Main Subcontractors
ISRO Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) Vikas
ISRO Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant (SPROB) Solid propulsion
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd Fairing, interstage structures
Anup Engineering Pvt Ltd Solid motor case
ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) Inertial measurement unit
Siva Vasu Electronics Works Electronics wiring

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© Takyon International 1997.