Ahmedabad: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced its plans to launch three indigenously built weather satellites in the next couple of years. The three satellites include the INSAT-3D and the Oceansat-2 satellites, which will help the country track cyclones as well as to forecast monsoons.
According to scientists at the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO here, the INSAT-3D will be a geo-stationary satellite and will be launched in 2008. The 3D will carry two sensors. A high-resolution radiometer will monitor rainfall, sea surface temperature and cloud movements, while a sounder will provide profiles of temperature and humidity.
The INSAT-3D will also track cyclones emerging from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea by monitoring their path and help in predicting the time and place of the land-fall. This monitoring will help in issuing early warnings to regions likely to be affected and allow timely evacuation.
Also due for launch in 2008 will be the indigenously built Oceansat-2, which will play an important role in forecasting the onset of monsoon and its subsequent advancement over the Indian peninsula.
Equipped with an Ocean Colour Monitor, Oceansat-2 will help identify potential areas for fishery. Also equipped with a radar scatterometer, the Oceansat will help measure sea surface-level winds, which will help in predicting the condition of the sea. Such forecasts, in turn, would aid ships navigating through the region.
The third weather satellite, the Megha-Tropiques, would be an Indo-French collaborative venture and would be launched in 2009. Though an Indian satellite, a large portion of the sensors will be built by the French National Space Centre (CNES). Megha-Tropiques will be a polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to atmospheric research. It will also track weather patterns that provide rain and will collect climate-related information.