ISRO Successfully Launches 13 US Nano Satellites With CARTOSAT-3
ISRO has been India’s crowning glory for some time now. In December 2019, it once again proved its mettle by successfully launching Cartosat-3 and 13 nanosatellites, from Sriharikota. This is the 21st flight of PSLV in its XL configuration.
What are Catosat Satellites?
The Cartosat satellites are observation satellites that are meant to orbit the planet, mainly for mapping using high-resolution cameras. They can look back and forth to generate continuous spot images and help detect geographical or man-made changes.
Does India have other such observational satellites?
India has other such earth observation satellites such as the Resourcesat and RISAT series, along with Oceansat. The Resourcesat satellites collect data needed on land and water resources. The Oceansat and SARAL series of satellites provide data on oceans. We also have satellites such as INSAT, INSAT-VRR, etc.
Why does India need Cartosat-3 and others now?
ISRO has said in its annual report for 2017-18 that it will take a more varied interest in earth observation to provide better data for better capturing of themes of land, water, cartography, ocean, atmosphere, and meteorology. New missions such as Geo-Imaging Satellite (GISAT), the already in orbit satellites such as RISAT, SARAL, INSAT, etc. will ensure ISRO earns its place as the agency with the most comprehensive remote-sensing data sets in the world.
What are the challenges?
Just having access to datasets is not enough. For them to be effectively used, they need to be integrated with data from other feeds as per the need of the moment. ISRO is doing a tremendous job of developing and operating state of the art satellites. The administration must develop secure diplomatic strategies to ensure they have access to data worldwide, create partnerships with other government and private agencies, to aid with ISRO’s work. No such network or policies are in place currently.
India must allow ISRO freehand to progress in the way they are. Additionally, the government needs to realize the potential they have in hand here. India has already taken many steps to lead collaboration in science and technology across the world. ISRO must be aided to do the same if India is to keep up with the rest of the world.