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India’s ocean satellite relays images, data
Published on 12 Oct. 2009 11:31 PM IST
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India’s latest remote sensing satellite Oceansat-2 has begun beaming “good quality” images of the earth and relaying data on sea surface wind speed and direction, the space agency said Monday. The 960 kg spacecraft was launched on board the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-C14) from spaceport Sriharikota, about 90 km north-east of Chennai Sep 23, with three scientific instruments (payloads). The sensors are Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM), the Scatterometer and the Radio Occultation Sounder for atmospheric studies. “The sensors have been turned on and are providing good quality data, including images,” the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here. The 76 kg OCM, multi-spectral imaging radiometer, provides information on chlorophyll concentration, and helps locate potential fishery zones, in sea-state forecasting, coastal zone studies, weather forecasting and climate studies, with a 360-metre spatial resolution and a swathe of 1,420km. The Ku-band pencil beam Scatterometer, an active microwave sensor with a ground resolution of 50km x 50km, facilitates retrieval of sea-surface wind speed and direction, and monitoring polar sea-ice. The radio occultation sounder, developed by the Italian space agency, measures the parameters pertaining to lower atmosphere and ionosphere. “The data from the sensors will also facilitate monitoring of turbidity and suspended sediments, sea-state and sea-surface winds, and meteorological/climatological studies,” the statement noted. The Rs.1.3-billion remote sensing satellite collects data over the entire globe once in two days while revolving in the sun-synchronous orbit about 720 km above the earth. Designed to last five years, the cuboid shaped Oceansat-2 will also study the oceans’ interactions with the atmosphere. The rocket also deployed six European nano satellites into the polar orbit along with Oceansat-2. Oceansat-2’s health is monitored from ISRO’s telemetry, tracking and command networks (Istrac) spacecraft control in Bangalore, Lucknow, Mauritius, Biak in Indonesia and Svalbard and Tromso in Norway. The first 1,050 kg Oceansat-1, launched May 26, 1999, is in operation, positioned in the same polar sun-synchronous orbit.

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