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Megha-Tropiques [CNES]

The french-indian Megha-Tropiques satellite is devoted to the atmospheric research. The data collected by the satellite will allow to improve our knowledge on the water cycle contribution to the climate dynamic in the tropical atmosphere and our understanding of the processes linked to the tropical convection.

The basic principles of the Megha-Tropiques mission are to:

  • provide simultaneous measurements of several elements of the atmospheric water cycle: water vapour, clouds, condensed water in clouds, precipitation and evaporation,
  • measure the corresponding radiative budget at the top of the atmosphere,
  • ensure high temporal sampling in order to characterise the life cycle of the convective system and to obtain significant statistics.

Megha-Tropiques was built on ISRO's IRS bus instead of the originally planned Proteus Bus to reduce the pressure on CNES budget. The payload is constituted of:

  • MADRAS: a microwave imager aimed mainly at studying precipitation and clouds properties,
  • SAPHIR: a 6 channels microwave radiometer for the retrieval of water vapour vertical profiles and horizontal distribution,
  • SCARAB: a radiometer devoted to the measurement of outgoing radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere.

MADRAS was developed jointly by ISRO and CNES. SAPHIR and SCARAB were developed by CNES.

Nation: India, France
Type / Application: Earth Science
Operator: ISRO, CNES
Contractors: Alcatel Space, ISRO
Configuration: IRS Bus
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 1000 kg
Orbit: 867 km × 867 km, 20
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Megha-Tropiques 2011-058A 12.10.2011 Sr FLP PSLV-CA with VesselSat 1, SRMSAT, Jugnu


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