ISRO on Saturday said its meteorological satellite INSAT-3DS has been flagged off to Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR at Sriharikota for it to be launched onboard GSLV F14. Satellite assembly, integration, and testing activities were successfully done at the UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru.

The satellite is a user-funded project with the Ministry of Earth Science (MoES), configured around ISRO’s I-2k bus platform with a lift-off mass of 2,275 kg. Indian Industries have significantly contributed to the making of the satellite.

According to sources, the space agency is said to be aiming for a mid-February launch.

“INSAT-3DS is an exclusive meteorological satellite realised by ISRO with the primary objective to provide continuity of services to the existing in-orbit INSAT-3D and 3DR satellites and significantly enhancing the capabilities of the INSAT system,” ISRO said.

It was flagged off to the SDSC-SHAR launch port in Andhra Pradesh on January 25, it said, adding that a Pre-Shipment Review (PSR) was also held with the participation of members from the user community.

According to ISRO, the satellite is designed for enhanced meteorological observations and monitoring of land and ocean surfaces for weather forecasting and disaster warning, with state-of-the-art payloads: 6 channel Imager & 19 channel Sounder meteorology payloads, communication payloads viz., The Data Relay Transponder (DRT) and Satellite aided Search and Rescue (SAS&R) transponder.

The DRT instrument receives meteorological, hydrological, and oceanographic data from automatic Data Collection Platforms or Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) and augments the weather forecasting capabilities.

SAS&R transponder is incorporated in the satellite to relay a distress signal or alert detection from the beacon transmitters for search and rescue services with global receive coverage.