The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had put India’s SCATSAT-1 weather satellite into orbit on Monday. ISRO said that the data generated by the weather satellite will be used by international space agencies including NASA and European Space Agency (ESA). According to ISRO, the SCATSAT-1 mission is a global one and not just for domestic use. The 371kg SCATSAT-1 is the continuity mission for Scatterometer payload carried by the earlier Oceansat-2 satellite. Global wind data, which is very crucial for cyclone detection and weather forecasting applications, was gathered by Scatterometer instrument flown as one of the payloads in OCEANSAT- 2 satellite. This data was utilized by national and international users and proved to be a very important tool for oceanographic studies. Also Read - High-speed solar storm to hit Earth today, impact phone signals: NASA warnsAlso Read - NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter uses same chip as Samsung Galaxy S5, OnePlus One
SCATSAT-1 is a global mission and data generated from the Scatterometer, developed by ISRO will also be utilised by the American space agency NASA and ESA organisation, EUMETSAT to provide global weather data to all those involved in weather studies and global climate change studies, ISRO said. According to ISRO, the magnitude and direction of the wind vector at the ocean surface is a key parameter for weather prediction as well as detection and tracking of cyclones. The objectives of the SCATSAT-1 are to facilitate the weather forecasting services to the user communities through the generation of wind vector products.
The Ku-band Scatterometer payload carried by SCATSAT-1 has enhanced features compared to the similar one carried by Oceansat-2 launched in 2009. The Scatterometer payload instrument is a vital tool globally used to study wind patterns above the ocean, air-sea interactions, ocean circulation and their overall effects on weather patterns. Climate quality data is expected to be obtained from this spacecraft to provide accurate knowledge regarding Himalayan ice formation and melting, cyclones formation near Indian coastal line, Greenland ice melting, etc, ISRO said.
Scatterometer operates on the principle of radar. When the radar radiates energy pulses towards the ocean’s surface, a backscatter effect is produced due to interaction between electromagnetic waves and sea surface waves, which is function of speed and direction of surface winds over the oceans. This process of receiving back-scattered signal is carried out while conically scanning or rotating the antenna along with the motion of the satellite giving a swath of 1,400 km. ALSO READ: ISRO successfully launches 8 satellites, here s why it is historic
The collected data is processed onboard to generate estimate of backscattered power/signals and stored on a data recorder. This recorded data is then transmitted to ground station which is converted into wind vectors for the global user. These wind vectors will help meteorologists in accurately predict the cyclone formation, its movement and estimated landfall. It may be recalled that Ocean wind vectors data helped in accurately predicting cyclone ‘Phailin’ in the Odisha coast in 2013, which helped in mitigation and saving of mankind and livestock. ALSO READ: Scientists develop instruments to help NASA s future rover missions in Mars