In its ninth flight conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, on May 05, 2005, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C6, successfully launched the 1560 kg Indian Remote Sensing satellite, CARTOSAT-1, and the 42.5 kg HAMSAT into a 632 x 621 km high polar orbit. This is the highest payload weight that PSLV has launched so far. President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, witnessed the launch from the Mission Control Centre. Both the satellites have been placed in polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) at an altitude of 632 x 621 km with an inclination of 97.8 deg with respect to the equator. The solar panels of CARTOSAT-1 were deployed soon after its injection into orbit.
CARTOSAT-1 is the eleventh satellite in the Indian remote sensing satellite series. It is 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 will have a spatial resolution of 2.5 metre and cover a swath of 30 km. The imageries will be 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.
With ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, as the lead Centre, CARTOSAT-1 was realised with major contributions from Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, LPSC at Bangalore, and IISU, Thiruvananthapuram. ISTRAC is responsible for initial and in-orbit operation of CARTOSAT-1. The National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Hyderabad receives and processes the data from CARTOSAT-1.
With the successful launch of CARTOSAT-1 and HAMSAT, PSLV has reiterated its reliability and versatility for launching satellites of different weight classes precisely into specified orbits.