INSAT-3A is a multipurpose satellite for providing telecommunications, television broadcasting, meteorological and search & rescue services. It carries twenty four transponders - twelve operating in the normal C-band frequency, six in Extended C-band and six in Ku-band. Nine of the twelve normal C-band transponders provide expanded coverage and the remaining three have India coverage beam. All the extended C-band as well as the Ku-band transponders has India coverage beams. INSAT-3A also carries a Ku-band beacon. For meteorological observation, INSAT-3A carries a three channel Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) with 2 km resolution in the visible band and 8 km resolution in thermal infrared and water vapour bands. In addition, INSAT-3A carries a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera which operates in the visible and short wave infrared bands providing a spatial resolution of 1 km. A Data Relay Transponder (DRT) operating in UHF band is incorporated for realtime hydro-meteorological data collection from unattended platforms located on land and river basins. The data is then relayed in extended C-band to a central location. INSAT-3A also carries another transponder for Satellite Aided Search and Rescue (SAS & R) as part of India's contribution to the international Satellite Aided Search and Rescue programme. INSAT-3A was launched by European Ariane-5G Launch Vehicle into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee of 200 km and an apogee of 35,980 km. The satellite is maneuvered to its final orbit by firing the satellite's apogee motor. Subsequently, the deployment of solar array, antennae and the solar sail is carried out and the satellite is commissioned after in-orbit checkout.
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