India’s PSLV has successfully launched Metsat 1 from Prof Satish Dhawan Space Center (formerly known as Sriharikota Space Center) at 10:55 UTC on September 12. The satellite will enter into service after the completion of orbit raising operations and positioning it in its orbital slot of 74°E. This is the first use of the PSLV to launch a spacecraft into geosynchronous orbit.
Metsat is the first dedicated meteorological satellite built by India’s ISRO (India Space Research Organization). Previously, meteorological services were combined with telecommunication and television services in INSAT spacecraft. Future INSAT systems will be dedicated to telecommunication & broadcasting services only. This will enable increased capacity to be built into INSAT satellites, both in terms of transponders and their radiated power, without the design constraints imposed by meteorological instruments.
The Meteorological payloads were developed by Space Applications Center, Ahmedabad. Master Control Facility, Hassan, is responsible for all post launch operations on the satellite.
For meteorological observation, Metsat carries a Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) capable of imaging the Earth in the visible, thermal infrared and water vapor bands. It also carries a Data Relay Transponder (DRT) for collecting data from unattended meteorological platforms. Metsat will relay the data sent by these platforms to the Meteorological Data Utilization Center, New Delhi. Such platforms have been installed across India.
The Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, Thiruvananthapuram, designed and developed PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). The inertial systems for the vehicle were developed by the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit, Thiruvananthapuram. The Liquid Propulsion Systems Center, Thiruvananthapuram, developed the Liquid propulsion stages for the second and fourth stages of PSLV as well as the reaction control systems.