Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ISRO plans earth observation systems

As part of an effort to increase its ability to map the country through satellite imaging, India plans to create a chain of nine earth observation satellites which will be used for civilian applications such as identifying potential fishing zones or mapping streets in cities. They will be placed in low earth orbits or around 700km above the earth’s surface by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The agency will launch the remote sensing satellites over the next five years beginning June with Oceansat-2, a satellite that has devices that can track wind velocity on the surface of the sea and which can be used to identify fishing zones.

The launch of these civilian satellites will be preceded by the launch, in February, of Cartosat-2A, a satellite that will be used for defence purposes with sub-meter resolution. ISRO is building also building Cartosat-3, with a resolution of about 0.35m.

India and France are jointly working on two satellites, Saral and Megha Tropiques, to track climate changes in the ocean and the tropics. ISROis building a family of radar imaging satellites that carry synthetic aperture radars, all-weather imaging sensors that are capable of taking images in cloudy and snow-covered regions.

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