India has been moving quickly in the defence and military satellite space in the past 3 years, increasing the presence of Indian strategic assets in space, with a slew of satellites launched for communication, navigation, surveillance and real-time monitoring of our vast borders, in the fourth dimension.
The Cartosat series of satellites, designed, developed and made in India, set a new benchmark in imagery and earth observation.
The Cartosat 3 satellite to be launched on November 27 by ISRO, is the best in class earth observation satellite, to be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit, at 509 kms altitude with an inclination of 97.5 degrees.
It is a geocentric satellite, panchromatic high resolution of less than 10 inches or 0.25 meters (Cartosat 2E had a resolution of 0.6 meters) – it can literally peep into a moving car, walking man or a foxhole by using adaptive optics, acousto- optical devices, in-orbit focusing using MEMs and large area-light- weight mirrors. It is a third-generation satellite, weighing 1625 kgs and is ninth in the series. As on date, this is the best in class imagery satellite and India can be justifiably proud of this achievement.
In the last few years, Indian defence forces used real-time satellite imagery to counter infiltration attempts, identify and destroy enemy fortifications and provided key inputs in the successful conduct of the surgical strikes.
Apart from the strategic application, the Cartosat 3 will also provide vital imagery for first response in disaster management, planning and utilisation of water resources, urban planning, rural development, agriculture, coastal and forest land cover and geoinformation system applications.
The satellite is capable of producing multispectral images and it is considered the best panchromatic high-resolution (capturing images in all the visible colours of light) with a 0.25-meter resolution. Cartosat 3 is an agile satellite that can be programmed for high-resolution spot imagery of a specific location.
Cartosat 3 will be launched by PSLV-C47 which in itself is a unique mission, in its XL version, with six solid strap-on motors, as it is designed to carry the payload to an orbit of 509 kms.
The co-passengers, of Cartosat 3 will be 13 commercial nanosatellites (also earth observation) from the United States, contracted by NSIL (New Space India Ltd – the newly formed commercial arm of ISRO in addition to ANTRIX), in its maiden commercial order, which is another first for this mission.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)