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ISRO to launch climate monitoring satellite

News18

Updated: September 9, 2011, 5:23 PM IST
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ISRO to launch climate monitoring satellite
Indo-French tropical climate monitoring satellite Megha-Tropiques is expected to be launched in a couple of weeks.

Bangalore: Indian Space Research Organisation is giving final touches for the launch of Megha-Tropiques, an Indo-French advanced tropical climate monitoring satellite, expected to be carried out from the Sriharikota spaceport in a couple of weeks.

ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan is slated to announce on Saturday the date for the launch of the joint mission of ISRO and French space agency CNES.

Megha-Tropiques (Megha meaning cloud in Sanskrit and Tropiques denoting tropics in French), which would investigate the contribution of water cycle in the tropical atmosphere to climate dynamics, would be launched by ISRO's workhorse rocket PSLV.

ISRO has built the Megha-Tropiques satellite, which is similar to the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites.

Besides Megha-Tropiques, the PSLV will launch three nano satellites - one from Luxembourg, "Jugnu" research satellite designed by IIT-Kanpur and a third one to monitor greenhouse gases from SRM University, Chennai.

A few days ago, Thales Alenia Space delivered to ISRO the flight model of the Radio Occultation Sounder for the Atmosphere (ROSA), which would be integrated into Megha-Tropiques.

The ROSA instrument is composed of a GPS receiver and two dual frequency antennas to pick up signals through the atmosphere.

Raw data measured by ROSA will be beamed back to Earth where the analysis of GPS signals crossing through the troposphere give a wealth of information.

From that it is possible to determine the temperature, pressure and humidity of the atmosphere, and thus to issue forecasts on the evolution and motion of weather fronts to evaluate climatic trends, according to a Thales Alenia Space statement.

It will also help in mapping the electron density as well as irregularities in the ionosphere in order to predict magnetic storms.

"The radio-occultation method allows to achieve a better vertical resolution than other infrared or microwave sensors," the statement added.

The instrument would complement a science payload also consisting in three other instruments, one of which was jointly developed by ISRO and CNES and the other two by CNES.

ISRO would control the satellite in orbit and also receive, process and distribute the scientific data from it.

"There are lots of potential for other countries in the world to use it (Megha-Tropiques) for scientific purposes", Radhakrishnan said.

First Published: September 9, 2011, 5:23 PM IST
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