India will get sharper eyes to track ravaging cyclones and forecast monsoon when the Indian Space Reserach Organisation (ISRO) launches the indigenously built INSAT-3D and Oceansat-2 satellites next year.
"The INSAT-3D satellite will be one of the three weather satellites that ISRO will launch in the next couple of years," said Abhijit Sarkar, a scientist at the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO in Ahmedabad.
"These three weather satellites will improve weather forecasts and will keep a track of phenomena like cyclones and monsoon," he added.
"INSAT-3D will be a geo-stationary satellite and will be launched in 2008," he told PTI recently.
"It will carry two sensors: a high resolution radiometer which will monitor rainfall, sea surface temperature and cloud movements and a Sounder which will give profiles of temperature and humidity," Sarkar remarked.
This satellite will do the all-important tracking of cyclones that emerge from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea," he said.
Geostationary satellites orbit the Earth's equatorial plane at a height of 38,500 kms. At this height, the satellite's orbit matches the rotation of the Earth, so the satellite seems to stay stationary over the same point on the equator.
This is ideal for making regular observations of cloud patterns and helps in detecting formation of cyclones, Sarkar explained.