Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) has achieved a major landmark with the successful deployment of its Space Grade Solar Panels on the GSAT-8 satellite of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). Launched from French Guyana, the satellite is Isro’s heaviest, weighing about 3,100 kg at lift-off. India’s advanced communication satellite,
GSAT-8 is a high-power communication satellite being inducted in the Insat system. The four solar panels supplied by Bhel for GSAT-8 have an area of over 5 sq m each, totaling around 21 sq m, and comprise multi-junction solar cells in series and parallel combinations, with a total power capacity of 4.5 kW. The panels were manufactured to strict space-quality standards wherein cell welding, bonding and wiring work was carried out by highly skilled manpower. The panels were further subjected to detailed testing by Isro, such as vibration test and thermovac test, as part of the requirements to validate the mechanical, electrical and thermal performance. Bhel, in collaboration with Isro, has established a state-of-the-art 10,000 clean room facilities at its Electronics Systems Division in Bangalore for the assembly and testing of Space Grade Solar Panels using high efficiency solar cells.