India will add a sixth “eye in the sky”, when ISRO launches an earth observation satellite belonging to the crucial Cartosat-2 series in November. This will be the third advanced remote sensing satellite in the Cartosat-2 series to be launched in 2017. The mission’s primary objective is to provide high-resolution images of designated targets from altitude of about 500 kilometers. Such an altitude is expected to provide better ground resolution. “A satellite belonging to the Cartosat-2 series will be launched in November,” said Tapan Misra, director of Space Applications Centre (SAC), an arm of ISRO that has been making payloads for the satellites.
Though Cartosat-2 — was launched way back in the year 2007, currently only five of the satellites in these series are functional. This includes Cartosat 2A and Cartosat 2B that were launched way back in 2008 and 2010 respectively. Last year in June Cartosat 2C was launched, followed by Cartosat 2D (February) and Cartosat 2E (June) this year.
The next satellite in the Cartosat series will join the five functional satellites that are currently in a sun-synchronous polar orbit and providing very high-resolution images. “The high-resolution satellites are very important for our country,” said Misra while interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of the World Space Week organised at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Exhibition (VSSE) on Wednesday.
“There is a view that Cartosat is used for military applications. It is actually used for many other applications,” he said. “Matters like making payments to a contractor involved in road construction can easily be done using satellites. The actual amount of work done can be assessed. Similarly, works done through MNREGA can be monitored. Future high-resolution satellites will also help in town planning and help monitor sand mining. It will also help pay crop insurance, especially to small farmers,” Misra added.
Apart from the Cartosat satellite, ISRO is also gearing up to launch the GSAT-11, a communication satellite that will revolutionise wireless communication in India. “The satellite is undergoing tests. It is expected to be launched in January 2018,” the senior ISRO official added. GSAT-11 along with GSAT-19 and GSAT-20 (to be launched by end of 2018) will usher in an age of high-speed internet in India.