India to launch Oceansat-2 on 23 September: Isro

India to launch Oceansat-2 on 23 September: Isro

Bangalore: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will launch Oceansat-2 satellite, which will help identify potential fishing zones and in coastal zone studies, on 23 September 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 23 September," S. Satish, spokesperson of Bangalore-headquartered Isro, told PTI.

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% 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 1,420kms, 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.