Oceansat-2 set for launch on Wednesday

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 13:44

Chennai: Oceansat-2 satellite that would help
identify potential fishing zones and provide inputs for
weather forecasting is poised to be launched into orbit on
board the Polar Launch Satellite Vehicle from the spaceport of
Sriharikota in the east coast, 90 kms from here, on Wednesday.

Riding piggyback on the 970 kg Oceansat-2, six other nano
satellites -- four from Germany and one each from Switzerland
and Turkey -- would be ejected into space by Indian Space
Research Organisation (ISRO)`s workhorse PSLV, which launched
India`s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft on its maiden moon mission.

The final 51-hour countdown for the launch began at 9 am
on Monday and has been "progressing normally", ISRO
spokesperson S Satish said to a news agency.

"All parameters are normal and efforts are on for a smooth
launch," he said, adding the weather was absolutely fine for
the launch.

The launch window for the lift off from the Satish
Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh is fixed
between 11.51 am and 12.06 pm.

Oceansat-2, India`s 16th remote sensing satellite, is
intended for identification of potential fishing zones, sea
state forecasting, coastal zone studies and providing inputs
for weather forecasting and climate studies.

An in-orbit replacement to Oceansat-1, used to study
physical and biological aspects of oceanography, which has
completed 10 years of its space journey, Oceansat-2 would have
a mission life of five years.

Besides two German Rubin nano satellites, other Oceansat-2
co-passengers are four cubesats: 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).

The nano satellites are in the two-eight kg range.
Oceansat-2 and the six auxillary payload would be
ejected into a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit, ISRO officials
said.

The nano satellites are educational spacecrafts from
European Universities intended for testing new technologies.

Oceansat-2 would be injected into space first and the
remaining one after another, officials said.

The eight band Ocean Colour Monitor carried by Oceansat-2
images a swath (strip of land or ocean) of 1,420km with a
resolution of 360 metre and works in the visible and Near
infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The
Scatterometer covers a swath of 1,400 km and operates
continuously.

In April 2008, ISRO had launched 10 satellites in a
single mission --one big spacecraft (Cartosat-2A) and nine
nano satellites.

PSLV-C14 during its path, has four stages using solid and
liquid propulsion systems alternately. The first stage,
carrying 139 tonne of propellant, is one of the largest solid
propellant boosters in the world while the second stage
carries 41.5 tonne of liquid propellant. In the third the
satellite uses 7.6 tonne of solid propellant and the fourth
has a twin engine configuration with 2.5 tonne of liquid
propellant.

Data sent by the three payloads of Oceansat 2 - Ocean
Colour Monitor (OCM), Ku-band Pencil Beam Scatterometer and
Radio Occultation Sounder for Atmospheric Studies (ROSA) would
be received at National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of ISRO.

The satellite`s Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Plastics (CFRP)
structure facilitates the mounting of payloads while its
thermal subsystem consisting of many passive materials and
active gadgets helps maintain the spacecraft`s temperature
within safe limits, officials said.

The Oceansat-2`s mechanisms subsystem takes care of the
deployment of its two solar panels as well as the release of
OCM and Scatterometer from their `hold down position`. It also
facilitates the tilting of OCM payload to avoid sun glint and
the satellite`s solar panels generate electrical power when
the satellite is in eclipse.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 13:44

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