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India plans micro satellite

India plans to launch a remote sensing micro satellite aimed at beaming images for use by select developing countries in the next few years. The 90 kg micro satellite, christened “TWSAT”, will have a three- band CCD camera with single optics and beam splitter and will be built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

ISRO plans to install 50 user terminals at universities across the country to receive data from the micro satellite, besides beaming the images to select countries in the developing world, according to the Department of Space Annual Report for 2004-2005.

The design and development of the micro-satellite is expected to evolve a standard bus configuration for such satellites, which can carry different payloads.

India is already assisting Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius and Maldives, among others, with satellite data for their use, an ISRO official said.

ISRO completed the initial configuration study for the micro satellite early this year, but a firm launch schedule is yet to be finalised.