Context: Indian Space Research Organisation’s Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3) placed 36 OneWeb satellites in a low earth orbit (LEO) following a successful launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
- OneWeb is a United Kingdom-based company, backed by the UK government and India’s Bharti Enterprises, which is implementing a constellation of LEO satellites.
- The global communication network powered from space plans to enable connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities.
- This is OneWeb’s 18th launch (second launch from India) which completed OneWeb’s constellation of 618 low earth orbit satellites that would allow it to offer high-speed, low-latency broadband internet services from space in every corner of the world.
- The first set of 36 satellites was launched by the LVM3/OneWeb India-1 mission by ISRO on October 23, 2022.
- OneWeb uses a constellation of LEO satellites to provide broadband internet access instead of the traditional method of using satellites placed in geostationary orbits (GEO) 36,000 km above the equator.
- LEO satellites placed in orbits ranging from 200 km to 1,500 km from earth – compared to 36,000km for GEO satellites – significantly increase bandwidth and reduce latency in space to around 50-70 milliseconds (ms).
- Latency refers to the time taken by a data packet to be transmitted from a user to the internet service provider through the satellite network.
- The latency for GEO satellite networks is in the range of 500-700 ms, which limits their use to 2G and 3G communications.