Advanced earth observation satellite Cartosat-3, which is due to be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR at Sriharikota in coastal Andhra Pradesh, will have the ‘sharpest eye’ of civil remote sensing satellites in the world.

  • It will be carried by PSLV-C47.
  • Thirteen small satellites of two U.S. customers will be the secondary payloads.
  • One of Cartosat-3’s cameras offers a ground resolution of 25 cm — this means it can pick up an object of a minimum of that size from a height of around 500 km.

  • Currently, WorldView-3, a satellite owned by U.S. company Maxar, has the best ground resolution of 31 cm.
  • So far, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has orbited eight Cartosats since May 2005. 
  • Data from most of them, especially the last four Carto-2 series ones, are exclusively used by the armed forces.
  • The previous best view from a Cartosat was 65 cm, as put in the last three or four satellites in the Cartosat-2 series — 2C, 2D, 2E and 2F. 
  • However, an existing policy allows only government and government authorised agencies to access ISRO's high-resolution imageries below a resolution of 1 m.
  • At 1,625 kg, Cartosat-3 is unusually heavy and more than double the mass of the previous eight in its class. 
  • Many new technologies have been built in, such as a highly agile or flexible camera; high-speed data transmission, advanced computer system and new power electronics.