Indo-French satellite to help forecast drought

Published: Saturday 15 February 2003

indian scientists have embarked on a programme to study clouds from close range. This was revealed at the recently concluded 90th Indian Science Congress session in Bangalore. Space Commission member Roddam Narasimha said that the satellite would help understand how the water cycle affects atmospheric climate processes over the tropics.

The satellite will be built by the Indian Space Research Organisation in collaboration with French space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales. The satellite is currently under construction.

It will be placed in the Low Earth Orbit by a polar satellite launch vehicle and will be launched in 2006. The satellite will measure moisture and exchange of energy on land, and oceans and atmosphere systems.Megha Tropiques, as the satellite is called, will provide frequent measurements of a number of parameters related to the water cycle and energy budgets (exchange of energy between land, atmosphere and oceans) in the tropics.

Such data is expected to prove invaluable for forecasting drought conditions in tropical regions. "The satellite will be able to provide greater accuracy to weather predictions," opines Jayesh Srinivasan from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

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