India launches weather satellite

Will help understand country’s monsoon cycle better

 
By Dinsa Sachan
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

India has successfully launched a tropical weather monitoring satellite, the Megha Tropiques. The satellite was injected into space by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C18) along with three other satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on October 12.


India successfully launches tropical weather monitoring satellite, the Megha Tropiques
The satellite will monitor atmospheric water cycle of the tropical atmosphere
It will provide constant information about water vapour, clouds, condensed water in clouds, precipitation and evaporation over the region
The satellite will also help understand India's monsoon cycle
 
The Megha-Tropiques, a joint venture of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its French counterpart, Centre National d'Etudes Spaciales, was placed in an orbit 867 km above the Earth's surface at an angle of 20 degrees to equator.

Megha is a Sanskrit word which means cloud, while tropiques translates to tropics in French. True to its name, the satellite will monitor the atmospheric water cycle of the tropical atmosphere.

The French space agency's website notes that Megha Tropiques will provide constant information about water vapour, clouds, condensed water in clouds, precipitation and evaporation over the region.

“The satellite will help us understand India's monsoon cycle better.  It will measure several parameters including vertical profile of humidity that will be helpful in monitoring the monsoon,” says A K Sharma, scientist with India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The other three satellites sent into space along with Megha Tropiques include SRMSat from SRM University, Chennai, JUGNU from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and Vesselsat-1 from Luxembourg.

India is only the second country to launch a high scale tropical climate monitoring space mission. NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) had sent a joint mission to monitor tropical rainfall in 1997.

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