CHENNAI: The 10 satellites put in orbit by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C9) on Monday are “fit as a fiddle,” a senior scientist of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Tuesday.
India created space history when its PSLV-C9 rose from its launch pad at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and rifled the satellites into orbit, one after the other in a timed sequence. Of the 10, Cartosat-2A and the Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1) are remote-sensing ones built by India and the remaining nano satellites fabricated by universities abroad.
While the National Remote-Sensing Agency (NRSA), Hyderabad expects to receive the images from IMS-1 within hours, Cartosat-2A may send down pictures in a couple of days.
M. Krishnaswamy, Project Director, Cartosat-2A, said from Bangalore: “Both the Indian satellites are doing fine… We are making preparations to switch on the payloads on Cartosat-2A. They will be switched on tomorrow [April 30] morning. We will get good, accurate images in a few days from Cartosat-2A.”
The remote-sensing images from Cartosat-2A will be used in making maps to help in planning infrastructure development in urban and rural areas.
“We can generate the latest maps with the images from Cartosat-2A. Otherwise, most of the maps available are 100 years old. Many changes have taken place on land in rural and urban areas. We need to have accurate maps of these areas,” Mr. Krishnaswamy explained.
Governments could garner more revenue with the help of these accurate maps because they would reveal how many people had land holdings, he said. Besides, the images would help in gathering information on different types of soil, the types of crops grown, their yield, and so on. The satellite will have a life of five years.
The IMS-1 has two payloads — a multi-spectral camera and a hyper-spectral camera. The multi-spectral camera would be switched on Tuesday. The hyper-spectral camera, scheduled to be operational from Wednesday, will produce “crystal clear images” on various features of the earth such as soil, vegetation, minerals, lakes, and ocean colour. The images will be used to monitor the health of the crops, study deforestation, map wasteland, keep a tab on coral reefs, landslips, and coastal features.
Camera systems progressing well
“All sub-systems on board Cartosat-2A and IMS-1 are working satisfactorily,” noted H. Satish, Director, Publications and Public Relations, ISRO. “The characterisation of the camera systems on board these two satellites are progressing well. The eight nano satellites are in good health. The PSLV-C9 scored a perfect ten when it put all the ten satellites into their required orbits,” Mr. Satish said.
According to George Koshy, Mission Director, PSLV-C9, the universities that built these nano satellites were quite happy with the mission’s success. Ground stations had received signals from these eight satellites, which together weighed 50 kg.