Bangalore: India's advanced weather satellite INSAT-3D, with newly developed atmospheric sounding system, is all set to be launched by commercial launch services provider Arianespace from Kourou in French Guiana early on Friday.
"INSAT-3D is essentially for meteorological applications, said chairman of Indian Space research Organisation K Radhakrishnan.
"INSAT-3D is an advanced satellite in the sense there is imaging system with better spatial resolution. New payload is the 19-channel sounder which is supposed to give information at different levels in the atmosphere. That's the new addition," he said.
European space consortium Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket would launch the Alphasat and INSAT-3D satellites.
The launch window opens at 1.23am and continues until 2.41am. Alphasat is Europe’s largest telecommunication satellite-ever manufactured and results from a large-scale public-private partnership between the European Space Agency and Inmarsat.
INSAT-3D is designed to provide meteorological observation and monitoring of land and ocean surfaces. In addition to the sounder, the satellite is equipped with a six-channel imager, a data relay transponder (DRT) and a payload for satellite-aided search and rescue operations.
"DRT will take data from various places -- land and oceans on the meteorological parameters," Radhakrishnan, also secretary in the Department of Space, said.
The KALPANA and INSAT-3A satellites of India are operational in geostationary orbit for the past one decade at 74 degree East and 93.5 degree East respectively. These have imaging systems providing images in visible, near-infrared, shortwave infrared, water vapour and thermal infrared bands.
INSAT-3D adds a new dimension to weather monitoring through its atmospheric sounding system, which provides vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and integrated ozone from surface to top of the atmosphere.
The imaging system of INSAT-3D has significant improvements over that of KALPANA and INSAT-3A, the space agency said.
INSAT-3D will provide continuity to earlier missions and further augment the capability to provide various meteorological as well as search and rescue services.
INSAT-3D has a lift-off mass of 2060 kg, which includes about 1125 kg of propellant. The propellant carried by INSAT-3D is mainly required to raise the satellite from the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit to its final Geostationary Orbit and to maintain the satellite altitude during its life. The designed in-orbit operational life of INSAT-3D is seven years.
INSAT-3D also carries the newly developed 19 channel sounder, which is the first such payload to be flown on an Isro satellite mission.
DRT will be used for receiving meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic data from remote, uninhabited locations over the coverage area from Data Collection Platforms (DCPs) like Automatic Weather Station, Automatic Rain Gauge and Agro Met Stations. India Meteorological Department and ISRO have established more than 1800 DCPs.
INSAT-3D is equipped with a Search and Rescue payload that picks up and relays the alert signals originating from the distress beacons of maritime, aviation and land based users to the Indian Mission Control Centre located at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore.
The major users of Satellite Aided Search and Rescue service in India are the Indian Coast Guard, Airports Authority of India, Directorate General of Shipping, Defence Services and fishermen. The Indian service region includes a large part of the Indian Ocean region covering India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Tanzania for rendering distress alert services.