Isro's PSLV-C47 successfully places Cartosat-3 in orbit
27 November 2019
Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) today successfully launched its latest earth-observation satellite, Cartosat-3 and 13 commercial nano satellites. Cartosat-3, with the 'sharpest eye' for any civil remote sensing satellite, was launched into a Sun synchronous orbit from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota at 9:28 in the morning today.
Isro’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C47, the 21st flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration (with 6 solid strap-on motors) shot into the space with precision and laced the Cartosat-3 satellite in an orbit of 509 km at an inclination of 97.5 degree.
This will be the 74th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
Cartosat-3 satellite is a third generation agile advanced satellite having high resolution imaging capability.
PSLV-C47 also ferried 13 commercial nanosatellites from United States of America as part of commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), Department of Space.
One of Cartosat-3’s cameras offers a ground resolution of 25 cm - this means it can pick up an object of a minimum of that size from a height of around 500 km.
Currently, WorldView-3, a satellite owned by US company Maxar, has the best ground resolution of 31 cm.
So far, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has orbited eight Cartosats since May 2005. Data from most of them, especially the last four Carto-2 series ones, launched in relatively quick succession in the last three years, are exclusively used by the armed forces.
The second one, Cartosat-2 of January 2007, breached the 1-metre threshold, which was an ambitious benchmark at that time.
The previous best view from a Cartosat was 65 cm, as put in the last three or four satellites in the Cartosat-2 series - 2C, 2D, 2E and 2F.
However, an existing policy allows only government and government authorised agencies to access Isro's high-resolution imageries below a resolution of 1 metre.
Cartosat-3 ushers in the third generation of high-resolution `optical imaging' satellites that enable precise cartographic or mapping activities, apart from their unstated military use.
Cartosats are capable of detecting changes in natural geographical or man-made features. Their cameras can `look back and forth' in an angle to generate continuous spot images.
At 1,625 kg, Cartosat-3 is more than double the mass of the previous eight in its class. Besides the highly agile and flexible camera, advanced computer system and new power electronics Cartosat-3 will facilitate high-speed data transmission.
The imageries from Cartosat series satellites are useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, infrastructure planning, coastal land use and regulation, utility management such as monitoring road networks, water grids or distribution, creation of land use maps, besides their military uses, according to Isro.