26 hour countdown for launch of ISRO’s third generation earth imaging satellite Cartosat-3 begins

The 26 hour countdown for the launch of ISRO’s third generation earth imaging satellite Cartosat-3 along with 13 commercial nano satellites from the US began at 7.28 hrs today.

The launch is scheduled at 09:28 hrs IST on November 27 subject to weather conditions. The satellites will be launched by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C47 into a Sun Synchronous Orbit from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.PSLV-C47 is the 21st flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with 6 solid strap-on motors).

The Cartosat-3 is a third generation agile advanced satellite having high resolution imaging capability. The 1625 kg satellite will be placed in an orbit of 509 km at an inclination of 97.5 degrees.Cartosat-3 is more advanced than its predecessor Cartosat- 2 as it will have a powerful resolution of point 25 metre which means that it can distinguish objects separated by as little as 25 centimetres.It will also have a wider spatial range of 16 km in the panchromatic mode compared to previous satellites.

Cartosat 3 will also have multispectral capabilities(the ability to capture light within specific ranges in the electromagnetic spectrum) and hyperspectral capabilities (the ability to capture light from across the electromagnetic spectrum).The satellite will provide various spatial, spectral and temporal data for cartographic applications in areas like urban planning, agriculture, water resource management, rural resource and infrastructure development, environment, forestry, ocean resources and disaster management.

It will address increased user demands for detailed imagery to aid coastal land use ,utility management like road network monitoring and water distribution, creation of land use maps and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.The ISRO’s data users are mainly Central agencies and State-level agencies with a large amount of information also made available to private players too.Cartosat-3 will have a mission life of 5 years.

PSLV-C47 will also carry 13 commercial nano satellites -12 for earth observation and one a testbed for communication technology-from the United States of America as part of a deal with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO. This will be the 74th launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota.
The agency had earlier launched EMISAT on April 1 and Risat-2B on May 22 this year.The six month gap in the launch of operational satellites in the interim period was due to the focus on the Chandrayaan 2 Mission that launched on July 22 .

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