India, France to launch tropical weather satellite in 2009

July 7th, 2008 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of ISRO

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) India and France will jointly launch a satellite next year to understand climate change and the tropical weather phenomena including monsoons. The joint working group of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French Space Agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) met in Goa Saturday and Sunday to review the progress made on this.

ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair and CNES president Yannick d’Escatha discussed the various modalities and technicalities involved with the launch of satellite Megha Topiques.

“The satellite will carry four payloads - a microwave radiometer, a humidity sounder, a radiation measuring instrument and a radio occultation sounder for atmospheric studies,” an official of the science and technology ministry said Monday.

At the meeting, an agreement was signed between both the space agencies on the policy for distribution of data received from Megha Tropiques.

The policy will enable the global scientific community to have free access to Megha Tropiques data after calibration and evaluation of the payloads by scientists from India and France.

“This data is expected to enhance a better understanding of the tropical weather phenomenon including the monsoons,” the official said.

The meeting also reviewed the status of SARAL, another Indian satellite mission with payloads from CNES for the study of ocean.

Besides the satellite missions, scientists from ISRO and CNES exchanged ideas for cooperation in conceiving space based systems and methodologies, which lead to a better understanding to tropical weather and climate.

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