India’s remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2 has become operational and started beaming images from the earth’s lower orbit, a space official said on Wednesday. “Cartosat-2 has been operationalised and beamed the first image on Monday after it was launched and deployed in the earth’s lower orbit on January 12,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Director DP Karnik told IANS.
The first image in high resolution shows a part of Indore, about 200 km from Bhopal in central India. “As one of our earth’s observatory in the Cartosat-2 series, the spacecraft has become operational after it was injected into a sun-synchronous orbit at 505 km above the earth,” said Karnik. The 710 kg spacecraft was launched on board a polar rocket (PSLC-C40) along with 30 satellites including one nano and micro from India and 28 from six countries.
As a follow-on mission, Cartosat will also relay high resolution scene specific spot imageries with data from its panchromatic and multi-spectral cameras operating in time delay integration mode. It has a 5-year life span. “The Cartosat-2 imagery will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps and change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features,” said ISRO in a statement.
“The 10 kg nano-satellite and 100 kg micro satellite are also functioning and have started relaying data from their respective orbits to our receiving stations,” added Karnik. The micro-satellite is the 100th spacecraft the state-run space agency had launched and deployed around the earth orbit. The micro-satellite was also placed in the sun synchronous orbit 359 km above the earth after the space agency’s mission control had fired the rocket’s engines to restart its fourth stage for the intended orbit.
The first space mission in 2018 onboard the PSLV-C40 comes four months after a similar rocket failed to deliver the country’s eighth navigation satellite in the earth’s lower orbit on August 31 last year.