The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully placed its earth observation satellite, Cartosat-3, in orbit. It has also launched 13 American nanosatellites in a textbook style. In the process, India has launched a total of 310 foreign satellites till date for a fee.

What data will ISRO Cartosat-3 provide?

The Cartosat-3, India’s new earth observation satellite will send sharp clarity images for urban planning, rural resource more. It will also send images of coastal land use and land cover, infrastructure development, all of which will help in strategic and defence purposes. ISRO said that they will provide the required images to various agencies. It is for the user agency to decide on the image use. The images captured by the satellite can also be used for surveillance purposes, ISRO hasn’t said anything about it yet.

The satellite’s payload has the capability of taking sharp pictures with a ground resolution of 0.25 metre in Panchromatic and 1metre ground resolution. It can click photos with ground sample distance (GSD) in 4 Band Multispectral modes with a swath of 16 km, said ISRO.

The Cartosat-3 has many new technologies and elements like highly agile structural platform, payload platform, higher rate data handling and transmission systems. It also has an advanced onboard computer and new power electronics, along with dual gimbal antenna.

“Extremely happy to declare PSLV-C47 precisely injected Cartosat-3 and 13 customer satellites in their desired orbit. Cartosat-3 is India’s highest resolution civilian spacecraft that ISRO has built so far,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said. He said ISRO has planned 13 missions during this fiscal — six launch vehicle missions and 7 satellite missions before March 2020.

Cartosat-3 satellite detailed

At about 9.28 a.m. the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL) standing around 44.4 metres tall and weighing about 320 ton with a one-way ticket hurtled itself towards the skies ferrying Cartosat-3.

Sharing the ride with Cartosat-3 were 13 nanosatellites from the USA.  An undisclosed fee will be paid to NewSpace India Ltd — the new commercial arm of ISRO. About 17 minutes into the flight the rocket ejected Cartosat-3 into an orbit of 509 km at an inclination of 97.5 degrees. Soon after, the first of the American nanosatellites was put into orbit. The final nanosatellite was ejected into its intended orbit at about 27 minutes from the rocket’s lift-off.

According to ISRO, 12 of the US nanosatellites are named as FLOCK-4P are earth observation satellites and the 13th is called MESHBED, a communication test bed satellite.

With inputs from IANS.