Thursday, January 7, 2010

India's SARAL-Altika satellite to study rising sea level

With ocean scientists reporting a nine mm rise in sea levels in four years, India will launch an exclusive satellite later this year to study the changes in the environment.

The SARAL-Altika satellite will complement the current observations of the sea made by current satellites like Jason-2 of the French Space Agency and NASA.

“The SARAL-Altika to be launched by this year-end will have a high-resolution altimeter in the Ka-band,” Marc Pircher, Director of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency said on the sidelines of the 97th Indian Science Congress here.

He said the satellite would be useful in studying the sea state, light rainfall climatalogy, mean sea level and coastal altimetry.

Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, said that SARAL-Altika would help ocean scientists gather accurate data on the rise in the sea level which could threaten the low lying and coastal areas of the country.

“SARAL-Altika will have a Ka-band altimeter which will measure the rise in the sea levels accurately than the current satellites,” he said.

SARAL-Altika, an Indo-French collaboration in the environment monitoring domain, will have two independent payloads – ARGOS-3 and Altika – whose objective would be to promote the study of environment from space.