ISRO satellite to study greenhouse gases

ISRO is in the process of launching a satellite to study greenhouse gases.

Chennai: With growing importance being
placed on climate change and mitigation strategies, India`s
space agency ISRO is in the process of launching a satellite
to study greenhouse gases.

"In the next 2-3 years, ISRO will carry out the first
of the launches which will be dedicated to (studying)
greenhouses gases like carbondioxide, carbon monoxide, nitric
oxide and things of that kind," Planning Commission Member and
former chief of ISRO, Dr K Kasturirangan told reporters here

The satellite was in design stages and the Ministry of
Environment and Forests, which will play a substantial role in
the funding of this project, has asked ISRO if the
measurements relating to the gases could be made globally.

"The US and Japan have already put such satellites and
the idea is to see if India can look at the greenhouse gases
using satellite sensors," Kasturirangan said.

He said the Environment Ministry has decided that such
missions will be also supported in a big way by it.

"So there is going to be a partnership. ISRO alone is
not going to do it. The Ministry will have a substantial role
in that partnership. How much and what kind of terms (of
funding), they will work out," he said.

Such an effort will not only be useful in
policy-making but also act as evidence of `something
happening,` he said.

ISRO was also planning a 50 metre tall geosynchronous
altitude imaging mission to monitor vegetation, flooding and
probably even forest fire, Kasturiranan said.

"Because 50 metres itself is a fairly good resolution.
So there is a hope that forest fire can be detected using
this. But they have to do lot of experimentation before they
can come to do that," he said.

The Environment Ministry also wanted to know whether
some satellite could look at the coastal zone dynamics and
monitoring, he said. "But this need to be looked in by ISRO,"
he said.