India's advanced weather satellite INSAT-3D has been successfully launched by commercial launch services provider Arianespace from Kourou in French Guiana.
INSAT-3D, developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation and its Space Applications Centre, is designed to provide meteorological observation and monitoring of land/ocean surfaces.
The satellite is equipped with a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder, as well as a data relay transponder and a payload for satellite-aided search and rescue operations.
Once fuelled, INSAT-3D had an estimated lift-off mass of 2,090 kg, and features eight new-generation digital signal processors and an 11-meter antenna reflector.
ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said, "INSAT-3D is essentially for meteorological applications. It is an advanced satellite in the sense there is imaging system with better spatial resolution. New payload is the 19-channel sounder which is supposed to give information at different levels in the atmosphere. That's the new addition."
The data relay transponder will be used for receiving meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic data from remote, uninhabited locations over the coverage area from Data Collection Platforms like Automatic Weather Station, Automatic Rain Gauge and Agro Met Stations. India Meteorological Department and ISRO have established more than 1800 DCPs.
INSAT-3D is equipped with a Search and Rescue payload that picks up and relays the alert signals originating from the distress beacons of maritime, aviation and land based users to the Indian Mission Control Centre located at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore.
The major users of Satellite Aided Search and Rescue service in India are the Indian Coast Guard, Airports Authority of India, Directorate General of Shipping, Defence Services and fishermen.
The Indian service region includes a large part of the Indian Ocean region covering India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Tanzania for rendering distress alert services.