India to launch Oceansat-2 on Sept 23: ISRO

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 13:54

Bangalore: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would launch Oceansat-2 satellite, which would help identify potential fishing zones and in coastal zone studies, on September 23 in a mission that would have European flavour.

The 970-KG spacecraft would set-off by the home-grown Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota spaceport on the east coast, where preparations for the launch are in full swing.

"Oceansat-2 is tentatively scheduled to be launched at around noon on September 23," S Satish, spokesperson of Bangalore-headquartered ISRO, told reporters.

ISRO officials said the launch is expected at 11.56 AM on that day.

The satellite is intended for identification of potential fishing zones, sea state forecasting, coastal zone studies and providing inputs for weather forecasting and climate studies.

It is an in-orbit replacement to Oceansat-1, launched by ISRO in May 1999 and was used to study physical and biological aspects of oceanography.

"Data from Oceansat-1 (which has completed ten years of service) was widely used by fishermen," ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said.

Besides ISRO, European space agencies would be keenly looking forward for the missions success as a set of six European nano satellites would ride piggyback and accompany Oceansat-2 on its trip to orbit.

Besides two Rubin nano satellites from Germany, the four cubesats lined up for the mission are: Beesat (built by Technical University, Berlin), UWE-2 (University of Wuerzburg, Germany), ITU-pSat (Istanbul Technical University, Turkey) and SwissCube-1 (Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne, Switzerland).

Oceansat-2 would carry an Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM) and
a Ku-band pencil beam Scatterometer, besides a Radio
Occultation Sounder for Atmospheric Studies (ROSA), developed
by the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

ISRO chief said the Ku-band pencil beam Scatterometer
with a ground resolution cell of 50 KMs X 50 KMs is expected
to provide the wind vector range of four to 24 metres per
second with better than 20 percent accuracy in speed and 20
degree in wind direction.

The on-board Scatterometer is a very good instrument for
getting surface wind on the sea. It is required for sea state
forecasting. And for maritime navigation, the wave height and
disturbance is also important, Nair said.

The eight-band OCM is similar to the one in Oceansat-1
with appropriate spectral bandwidth modifications based on the
experience gained. OCM, with 360 metres spatial resolution and
a swath of 1,420 kms, would provide a two-day repeativity.

Since Oceansat-2 is a continuity mission to Oceansat-1,
the same polar sun synchronous orbit of 720 KMs has been
retained.

An ISRO official said Oceansat-1 essentially could look
at only the colour of the ocean but the upcoming spacecraft is
a comprehensive system and would look at surface winds and
temperature, among other things.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 13:54

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