ISRO has started the countdown for the launch of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which will take the Cartosat-2 series satellite as well as 30 co-passenger satellites to space from Sriharikota tomorrow. Following the launch its most powerful indigenous rocket GSLV Mk III on earlier this month, ISRO is all set to launch the Cartosat-2 series which will be carried by PSLV-C38 tomorrow at 0929 hours, the countdown for which started today at 0529 hours. The co-passenger satellites, consist of 29 Nanosatellites from 14 other countries. This will be the 40th flight of PSLV, and this launch is a part of the deal between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), the commercial arm of ISRO and customers all over the globe. Cartosat-2 is a remote sensing satellite and it is similar in configuration to earlier satellites in the series. Here are all the things you need to know about the satellite launch.
What is the Cartosat-2 series satellite? Cartosat-2 Series Satellite is the main satellite which the PSLV-C38 will carry. It is a remote sensing satellite and its configuration is similar to other satellites in the series. The series was created with the intention of high-resolution spot imagery for particular scenes. The Cartosat-2 Series Satellite, one other Indian satellite, and 29 co-passenger satellites from around the world are in the lineup to be launched into an altitude of 505 km. This satellite series is basically an earth observation satellite which can provide high-res images that provide data in different types of scales. The Cartosat-2 Series satellite is 6th in the series and is known as Cartosat- 2E. The satellite weighs around 714 kg and is operated and maintained by ISRO.
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When is the launch? Which other satellites will go in the PSLV? The Cartosat 2E satellite has been scheduled to be launched tomorrow at 9:20 am and along with it, will go 30 co-passenger satellite. The other nano satellites together weigh around 243kg and will lift off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The PSLV rocket will then sling the satellites into a 505 km polar sun synchronous orbit (SSO). This will be PSLV’s 40th flight launching a total of 955 kg satellite. The other 30 mini satellites along with Cartosat 2 comprise 29 Nanosatellites from 14 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America besides a Nanosatellite from India.
What is the use of Cartosat-2E? How will it help India? Cartosat-2E has been built especially with a panchromatic camera which will be able to take black and white pictures of the planet in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The images taken from the satellite will be useful for rural and urban spot applications, to identify coastal land use and regulations. The pictures taken will also help monitor the road network and water distribution, the creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications. Earlier, India had to purchase pictures worth about Rs 2 crores in a year from Ikonos which is multispectral and offered pictures of lower resolution. Meanwhile, Cartosat 2 series comes with better features and provides better resolution.
How long do these satellites go back in history? The Cartosat is similar to the 4 satellites of the Cartosat-2 series that has been launched in the past. The first one in the series was launched by PSLV-C7 in the year 2007 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre’s FLP at Sriharikota. Then, Cartosat-2A was launched by PSLV-C9 in 2008. It was dedicated to the Indian Armey to establish an Aerospace Command. Following this, satellite Cartosat 2B was launched by PSLV-C15 in the year 2010. Meanwhile, recently the Cartosat 2C, with a special potential to record weather mapping, was taken off on June 22, last year. Meanwhile, in 2017, Cartosat-2D was launched by PSLV-C37 which took with it over 100 satellites.