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Cartosat-2 beams first images

11 January 2007, India – The panchromatic camera on board India’s latest remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2 was switched on today and the analysis of the first imagery confirms excellent performance of the camera. The first imagery covered a length of 240 km from Paonta Sahib in Shivalik region to Delhi, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

“Another set of imagery of about 50 km length covered Radha Nagari to Sagoan in Goa before the satellite passed over the Arabian sea,” the Bangalore-headquartered Indian space agency said in a statement. The camera was switched on at 10.05 am through a series of commands issued from the spacecraft control centre of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore.

“Analysis of the first imagery received at National Remote Sensing Agency’s data reception station at Shadnagar, near Hyderabad, confirms excellent performance of the camera” a statement from ISRO said. The NRSA Earth Station, equipped with three terminals, is currently receiving images from eight satellites, including foreign ones, and has the capability to receive more.

Cartosat-2 was launched on 10th January from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, India by ISRO’s PSLV-C7 along with three other satellites: Indian Space capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1); Indonesian LAPAN-TUBSAT; Argentina‚Äôs PEHUENSAT-1. CARTOSAT-2 was placed in a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.

CARTOSAT-2, the twelfth in the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite series, is an advanced remote sensing satellite capable of providing scene-specific spot imagery. It will join the other six IRS satellites which are in service — IRS-1C, IRS-1D, OCEANSAT-1, Technology Experimental Satellite (TES), RESOURCESAT-1 and CARTOSAT-1. It carries a Panchromatic camera (PAN) to provide imageries with a spatial resolution of better than one metre and a swath of 9.6 km. The satellite can be steered up to 45 deg along as well as across the track. The data from the satellite will be used for cartographic applications at cadastral level, urban and rural infrastructure development and management, as well as applications in Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS).

The Cartosat-2 follows the launch of CARTOSAT-1, which was launched on May 5, 2005 from Sriharikota. CARTOSAT-1 is the eleventh satellite in the Indian remote sensing satellite series. Intended for cartographic applications, it carries two panchromatic cameras that take black-and-white stereoscopic pictures in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The imageries have a spatial resolution of 2.5 metre and cover a swath of 30 km.

The imageries from Cartosat-1 are proving to be highly useful for generating digital elevation maps for urban and rural development, land and water resources management, disaster assessment, relief planning and management and environmental impact assessment. CARTOSAT-1 also carries a Solid State Recorder with a capacity of 120 Giga Bits to store the images taken by its cameras.