Bangalore: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch ten satellites, including eight nano-satellites, abroad the PSLV-C9 on 28 April 2008, from the Sriharikota Satish Dhawan Space Centre, (SHAR). The cluster of satellites being carried on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C9 will also include the advanced remote sensing satellite, Cartosat-2A, which will carry high resolution stereo cameras and scientific instruments and will have intelligence gathering functions.
This will mark the first time that ISRO will attempt a simultaneous launch of ten satellites, ISRO officials said.
The mission will also see the launch of eight micro-satellites. The 5-20 kg satellites have been provided by three European countries, as well as from Canada.
Of these eight nano-satellites, six form a cluster called NLS-4. These satellites have been built to test nano-technologies for use in satellites.
The payload will also include the Cartosat-2A, which is identical to the mapping satellite, Cartosat-2, launched earlier on 10 January 2007. The 680 kg Cartosat-2A will be placed in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 630 km.
''Cartosat-2A will have a panchromatic camera designed to provide imagery with one metre spatial resolution and a swathe of 9.6 km to spot objects measuring the same size. The new satellite is also capable of providing scene-specific spot imagery for cartographic and other applications,'' according to chairman, ISRO, G Madhavan Nair.
The second Indian satellite, weighing 85 kg, will be an experimental remote sensing satellite and would be used as a platform for trying out advanced technologies in forthcoming launches.
The launch is scheduled at 0920 hrs from ISRO's launch port Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on 28 April. ISRO considers the launch very important as it was a major step forward in its commercial launch operations.
Technically also, it is an important mission, as satellites have to be put at the right time in precise orbit one by one, he said.
Slated to become the thirteenth Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite in polar orbit, the Cartosat-2A will be used for planning rural and urban development. It will also have high agility to steer across the track up to plus or minus 45 degrees.
Interestingly, the Cartosat-2A reconnaissance, all-weather satellite can also be used for dedicated applications, such as intelligence gathering and other national security purposes, officials said.