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ISRO getting ready for climate research satellite Megha-Tropiques launch


7 Apr 2011
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BANGALORE: Indian Space Research Organisation has set in motion preparations for launch of Megha-Tropiques, an advanced weather and climate research satellite, on board PSLV from Sriharikota spaceport next month-end.
"Preparations are underway for launch of the satellite in September end", sources in the Bangalore-headquartered space agency told PTI today.
ISRO and French National Space Centre (CNES) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for development and implementation of the joint atmospheric satellite mission nearly seven years ago.

Sources said top CNES officials are slated to witness the launch by PSLV, ISRO's work-horse launch vehicle.
Megha-Tropiques (Megha meaning cloud in Sanskrit and Tropiques meaning tropics in French) is meant for investigating the contribution of the water cycle in the tropical atmosphere to climate dynamics.
The satellite would carry four scientific instruments, including a Microwave Analysis and Detection of Rain and Atmospheric Structures (MADRAS) radiometer developed jointly by ISRO and CNES to provide information on rain above the oceans and integrated water vapour content in the atmosphere.

ISRO has built the Megha-Tropiques spacecraft, which is similar to the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites.
"The satellite will be placed in 867 km high orbit at an inclination of 20 degrees with respect to the equatorial plane. In this orbit, the satellite will be able to collect scientific data covering the tropical regions", a senior ISRO official said.
Placing it in a low inclination orbit would facilitate high temporal re-visit capability over the tropical region. This orbit would enhance observational capability of the rapidly developing tropical systems and enable monitoring of weather and climate over the entire tropical world.

ISRO would control the satellite in orbit and also receive, process and distribute the scientific data from the satellite.
"Megha-Tropiques is an important mission which will provide vital atmospheric data over the tropical region that would help in monsoon variability studies", the official said.

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