India, France To Launch Tropical Weather Satellite By Next Year

With the intention to understand climatic changes and the tropical weatherMegha Tropiques processes including monsoons, India and France have decided to jointly launch a satellite by next year (2009).

The combined working group of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French Space Agency Centre, National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) met in Goa on Saturday and Sunday to review the progress made on the same.

ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair and CNES president Yannick d'Escatha talked about the different modalities and technicalities associated with the launching of satellite ‘Megha Topiques.’

A functionary of the science and technology ministry stated, “The satellite will carry four payloads, a microwave radiometer, a humidity sounder, a radiation measuring instrument and a radio occultation sounder for atmospheric studies.”

At the meeting, an agreement was signed between ISRO and CNES on the policy for distribution of information obtained from Megha Tropiques, an Indo-French joint satellite for tropical weather monitoring planned for launch in 2009.

The policy will permit the worldwide scientific community to have free access to Megha Tropiques information after standardization and assessment of the payloads by Indian and French researchers.

The official said, “This data is expected to enhance a better understanding of the tropical weather phenomenon including the monsoons.”

The meeting also brushed up the status of SARAL, a small Indian satellite task with payloads from CNES to study the ocean.

Besides the satellite missions, scientists from ISRO and CNES exchanged ideas for cooperation in conceiving space based systems and methodologies, which lead to a better understanding to tropical weather and climate.

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