After IRNSS, ISRO Is Now Working On World’s Most Efficient Weather Prediction Satellite!
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is developing a new weather-forecasting satellite to predict the beginning of cyclones in oceans. About 300 scientists are working on the satellite named ScatSat-1, at the Space Applications Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad.
The amazing fact about this satellite, weighing 301 kg, is that it is being built at 60% of the actual cost, and in one-third of the estimated time. About 40% of satellite is made by recycling the leftover equipment from previous satellite missions. It will be launched in July 2016 and will have a mission life of five years.
OceanSat-2, which was launched in 2009 and was known for its accurate predictions of cyclones like Hudhud and Phailin, will be replaced by ScatSat-1. Although OceanSat-2 stopped functioning in February 2014, currently, ISRO is getting most of the weather information from INSAT-3D satellite.
“Normally, it takes about three years to build a satellite of this class from scratch. However, as we have sourced 40% of the parts used in ScatSat-1 from spares of previous missions, we will complete it in a year’s time,” said Tapan Misra, director of the SAC.
At the time of launch, ScatSat-1 will be a piggy ride with another satellite, and this will help save costs even further.
A scatterometer in the satellite will help predict formation of cyclones in waterbodies like seas and oceans. Predictions such as these will help in timely evacuation and minimise human casualties. A scatterometer measures the scattering effect produced while scanning the surface of the Earth from an aircraft or a satellite. It measures the direction and speed of winds over the seas and oceans. This satellite has been designed to withstand multiple system failures, unlike OceanSat-2.
ScatSat-1 is a polar orbiting satellite and will take two days to cover the globe. The data will be used by organisations like NASA, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well.