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Cartosat 3

Published: 9th Dec, 2019

Recently, Cartosat 3 was launched by ISRO.


Recently, Cartosat 3 was launched by ISRO.


  • Cartosat-3 is the third generation Earth observation satellite built by ISRO. It is one of the most advanced imaging satellites built by the organization so far. It has the capability to produce high resolution aerial images in the world.
  • The features of the satellite include
    • Panchromatic - captures all visible colors of light
    • Hyperspectral - captures light from electromagnetic spectrum
    • Multispectral - captures light within specific ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum.
    • Resolution: It has the 'sharpest eye' of civil remote sensing satellites in the world.
    • One of Cartosat-3’s cameras offers a ground resolution of 25 cm- it can pick up an object of a minimum of 25 cm size from a height of around 500 km.
    • Currently, a satellite owned by US private company- WorldView-3, has the best ground resolution of 31 cm.
    • Weight:At 1,625 kg, Cartosat-3 is unusually heavy and more than double the mass of the previous eight in its class.
    • Inclination:It has been placed at 97.5 degrees to the equator of the earth.
    • It has many new technologies such as a highly agile or flexible camera; high-speed data transmission, advanced computer system, etc.
  • Launch Vehicle: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C47 has launched Cartosat-3 into Sun Synchronous orbit from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • PSLV-C47 is the 21st flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration.
  • PSLV-C47 will also carry 13 commercial nano-satellites from United States of America as part of commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), Department of Space.

Cartosat Series and Remote Sensing Programme

  • The Cartosat series is a part of the Indian Remote Sensing Programme.
  • Till date, eight Cartosats have been launched.
  • They were specifically launched for Earth’s resource management and monitoring.
  • Cartosat-1was launched by PSLV-C6, on May 5th 2005 from Sriharikota.
  • Cartosat-3 was originally planned to be launched on board PSLV during 2014. However, ISRO appears to launching additional satellites in the Cartosat-2 series through 2017, and ISRO's 2017 plans involve launching Cartosat 2D/2E in 2017. Cartosat-3 will now be launched on 27 November 2019.
  • Cartosat-3 is an advanced version with better spatial and spectral characteristics as compared to the Cartosat-2 series satellites.
  • The Earth-observation satellites also include the Resourcesat and RISAT series, the Oceansat
    • The Resourcesat and RISATseries of satellites, for example, provide images and data that are needed for land and water resources applications.
    • The Oceansat series and the SARAL satellite, meanwhile, produce data on the oceans.
    • The satellites like INSAT 3D, INSAT-VRR or Megha Tropiques study the atmosphere.


  • Data from most of the Cartosat satellites are exclusively used by the armed forces.
  • However, an existing policy allows only government and government authorised agencies to access ISRO's high-resolution imageries below a resolution of 1 metre.
  • Cartosat-3’s optical imaging will also help to detect precise cartographic or mapping activities.
  • The imageries are also used for urban and rural infrastructure planning, coastal land use and regulation, utility management such as monitoring road networks, water grids or distribution, creation of land use maps, disaster management, etc.

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