UPDATE: Amidst optimistic onlookers, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) managed to successfully launch Megha-Tropiques, along with three other satellites aboard its PSLV-C 18 launch vehicle, today at 11:00 hrs (IST). On the 9th October, 2011 members of the Launch Authorisation Board met at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) and gave the launch a go ahead. Then a 50-hour countdown began on October 10th, 2011, 9:00 hours, which ended at 11:00 hours today. Megha Tropiques, aboard PSLV-C 18 launch vehicle will not be the lone flyers. Along with Megha-Tropiques, a weather satellite, the PSLV-C 18 will also carry SRMSat by SRM University, Chennai, Jugnu by IIT-Kanpur, and VesselSat-1 from Luxembourg. 

The PSLV-c 18 takes to the skies!

The PSLV-c 18 takes to the skies!

SRMSat developed by the SRM University, Chennai is a nanosatellite with a collective weight of 10.9 kgs aimed at working out a solution to Global Warming and pollution levels. It aims to do so by gauging the levels of carbon dioxide and water vapour. Jugnu, on the other hand  has been developed by IIT-Kanpur. It will be required to test image processing algorithms, and other systems like GPS receiver, MEMS-based Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). VesselSat-1 from Luxembourg is a micro satellite. The VesselSat-1 carries AIS receivers onboard to detect automatic sea vessel signals in the region within the satellite's domain. 

To know more about the SRMSat, Jugnu and VesselSat-1, click here

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) sometime back decided to join forces with its French counterpart, French National Space Centre (CNES). Now, with an Indo-French collaboration firmly in place, Megha-Tropiques – a weather satellite is being readied for launch exactly a month from today, i.e. October 12, 2011. Megha-Tropiques, according to an ISRO report, is essentially an advanced climate and weather satellite. In an official press release by ISRO, which was put out on 23rd March, 2009, the Indo – French collaboration, as well as plans of a scheduled launch of the Megha-Tropiques in 2009-10 were cited.  

An artist's impression of the Megha Tropiques (Image credit: Alcatel)

An artist's impression of the Megha Tropiques (Image credit: Alcatel)

Megha-Tropiques is being put forth primarily to study the tropical regions, since it is these regions which primarily receive maximum energy from the Sun, more than they radiate back into the space. According to a report in the Deccan Herald, the weather satellite will be carried on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C 18. An Imaging Radiometer Microwave Analysis and Detect­i­on of Rain and Atmospheric Structures (MADRAS), a six channel Humidity Sounder (SAPHIR), a four channel Sc­a­n­ner for Radiation Budget Measurement (SCARAB) and GPS Radio Occultation System (GPS-ROS) purchased from Italy, will accompany the satellite on its maiden launch.

Publish date: October 12, 2011 4:21 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:29 pm

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