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science & tech

What is Cartosat-3?

Cartosat-3 is a third-generation advanced earth observation satellite manufactured and owned by ISRO. It is the most advanced satellite built by ISRO.

  • It is an upgrade over the Cartosat-2 series and will provide higher resolution images.
  • The launch vehicle used was PSLV-C47.
  • It is the ninth in the Cartosat series and weighs 1625 kg, more than double the weight of the previous eight.

PSLV C-47.

  • (Picture Credits: Indian Express)

What are its best features?

  • Its panchromatic resolution is 25cm, which is the best for any commercial satellite.
  • Its resolution in infrared mode is 5.7m, in the multispectral mode, it is 1.13m and operates in four bands and 12m in hyperspectral mode.
  • Its cameras can help in detecting changes in natural geographical or man-made features by looking back and forth at an angle to generate continuous spot images.

What are panchromatic, multispectral, and hyperspectral imageries?

  • Earth Observation sensors that capture data in multiple bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, like infrared and visible, produce multispectral images.

  • The number of bands typically ranges from 3 to 10. In the case of hyperspectral imagery, bands are narrower and can be above 100.
  • Panchromatic imagery consists of a single band covering the visible spectrum.

Who can use the data it provides?

  • Mainly central and state-level agencies will use the data obtained from it but a large amount of information will be shared with private entities too.

  • The existing policy allows only government and government authorized agencies to access ISRO's high-resolution imageries below a resolution of 1 meter.

What will its data be used for?

  • Its data will be used for coastal land use and land cover, urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, cartography, water resource management, etc.
  • It will also be used for defense purposes like surveilling of the border to check infiltration, spotting of military targets as were done for surgical strikes in Pakistan and Myanmar (using Cartosat 2), monitoring movements of enemy troops, etc.

What has been the journey of Cartosat satellites so far?

  • Cartosat-1 was launched in 2005, with a resolution of 2.5m. It was the first Indian remote sensing satellite capable of taking three-dimensional images.

  • It helped in creating new digital maps of over 150 towns and cities in the country at a scale of 1:10,000, an improvement over the earlier ones which were of the scale 1:50,000 or even lower.

Journey continued….

  • Data of Cartosat-1 was also used to assess the vulnerability of the Indian coastline to flooding, in the event of a tsunami or a major cyclone.

  • It proved useful for estimating the status of irrigation potential created by a large number of projects under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme.
  • There are seven satellites in the Cartosat-2 series, each one with a resolution of 1m. The first one was launched in 2007.

Journey continued 2….

  • Its main uses were in cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, etc.
  • It was also used for change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) as well as Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.