Remember the ‘eye in the sky’ that helped soldiers to successfully carry out the ‘surgical strike’ against terrorist posts on the Jammu & Kashmir border last September?
Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is strengthening this eye by launching a satellite in the Cartosat-2 series later this month.
The primary mission objective is providing high-resolution scenes of spot imagery.
It will be launched via Isro’s trusted PSLV workhorse, PSLV-C38 in this case, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, to an altitude of 500 km. It will be seventh Cartosat satellite from the space body.
The project has been allocated Rs 160 crore; the satellite is expected to help preparation of high-resolution maps, with a Panchromatic camera. Apart from pictures, it can also record videos.
Military use apart, it would be useful for urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management and various related applications.
The future Earth Observation programme envisages continuity of a thematic series of satellites — Resourcesat, Cartosat, Oceansat, RISAT, INSAT — for land, water and meteorological applications.
A Geo Imaging Satellite is also envisaged in geostationary orbit, to enable real-time imaging.
Cartosat-1, first in the series of Cartosat earth observation satellites, was launched in May 2005, in the PSLV-C6 launch vehicle, followed by Cartosat-2 in January 2007.