Cartosat 2 - Earth Observation Satellite

Cartosat 2 is part of India’s successful Earth Observation Programme run by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which started in the late 1970s. Until the launch of Cartosat 2, the best spatial resolution of the Indian Earth observation satellites was 2.5 meters. Cartosat 2 broke new grounds by providing data with spatial resolutions of less than 1 meter.

This topic would be of importance in the IAS Exam from the perspective of the Prelims and Mains Exam, to test the candidates’ knowledge on advancements made by India in the sphere of Space technology.

What is the meaning of Cartosat?

Cartosat is a series of Earth observation satellites, built, launched, and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

When was the first Cartosat Satellite launched?

The first satellite of the Cartosat series of satellites was launched in the year 2005.

How many Cartosat satellites have been launched and operated by ISRO?

There are a total of 9 Cartosat satellites. The first satellite of the series was launched in 2005 and the last of the satellite in the series was launched in 2019.

Complete List of Cartosat Series Satellites Launched Over the Years

ISRO found it necessary to develop and launch a range of satellites to have a comprehensive observation of earth. Hence ISRO launched a range of Cartosat series satellites over the years.

Below table gives an entire list of Cartosat series of satellites along with launch vehicles

Satellite Launch Vehicle Year
Cartosat – 1 PSLV – C6 2005
Cartosat – 2 PSLV – C7 2007
Cartosat – 2A PSLV – C9 2008
Cartosat – 2B PSLV – C15 2010
Cartosat – 2C PSLV – C34 2016
Cartosat – 2D PSLV – C37 2017
Cartosat – 2E PSLV – C38 2017
Cartosat – 2F PSLV – C40 2018
Cartosat 3 PSLV – C47 2019

List of Indian Satellites can be found at the linked article.

Cartosat 2 Satellite – 6 Applications

Cartosat 2 satellite is an advanced remote sensing satellite. Data provided by Cartosat 2 satellite has widely varied applications.

  1. Mapping and other cartographic applications
  2. Urban and Rural infrastructure development and management
  3. Has usage in Geographical Information System (GIS)
  4. Used in Land Information System (LIS)
  5. Road network monitoring
  6. Water distribution

The first image captured by the Cartosat satellite was part of Indore city in Madhya Pradesh with Holkar cricket stadium at the center of the pic. This pic was captured 3 days after the launch of the satellite.

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Cartosat 2 Satellite – 7 Features

  1. This is a global mission, implying the usage of the satellite is not confined to the boundaries of India.
  2. It has one panchromatic camera.
  3. The satellite is placed in polar orbit.
  4. It is placed at an altitude of approximately 630 Km.
  5. The orbital period i.e. time taken by Cartosat 2 to orbit earth is approximately 97 minutes.
  6. Cartosat 2 orbits earth approximately 14 times per day.
  7. The satellite operates with a phased array antenna.

Cartosat 2 Satellite – 7 New Technologies

7 new groundbreaking technologies were used in the Cartosat 2 Satellite.

  1. Two mirror on-axis single camera.
  2. Carbon fabric reinforced plastic based electro-optic structure
  3. Lightweight, large-size mirrors
  4. Advanced solid-state recorder
  5. High torque reaction wheels
  6. High-performance star sensors
  7. Imaging along the corridor or any direction

Cartosat 2A Satellite – Applications

  1. This is a satellite developed exclusively for Indian Armed Forces.

Cartosat 2C Satellite – Applications

  1. Weather mapping
  2. Cartography
  3. Strategic applications

The above details would be of help to candidates preparing for UPSC 2021 exams from the perspective of mains examination.

Frequently Asked Questions on Cartosat 2


Q 1. What is the use of Cartosat satellites?

Ans. The Cartosat satellites are built and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and are a series of Indian optical earth observation satellites.

Q 2. What are the main objectives of Cartosat 2?

The main objectives of Cartosat 2 are as follows:

  • Design and develop a high agility advanced satellite with a high spatial resolution of 1.0 m in the panchromatic band
  • To meet the user demands for cartographic applications at cadastral level, urban planning and rural development, utility mapping and infrastructure development etc.
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