India is one of the few countries of the world that build, launch and operate their own meteorological satellites. In 1982, when other countries had satellites meant exclusively for meteorological remote sensing, India pioneered the concept of multi-purpose satellites that worked for telecommunications as well. The Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system was unique in this respect and designed as a joint venture of the Department of Space, Department of Telecommunications, India Meteorological Department, All India Radio and Doordarshan to provide telecommunication, television broadcasting, meteorology and disaster warning services.

The proposed launch of the INSAT-3D satellite is going to be yet another demonstration of India ‘s superior capability in the area of meteorological remote sensing. Two more missions, the Indian ‘Oceansat-2′ and the India-France joint venture ‘Megha-Tropiques’, are expected to follow in quick succession. When all these satellites are in orbit, they will provide a space view of the total land-ocean-atmosphere system as never before. Together they will not only cater to the growing needs of operational meteorology but also throw new light on the physical processes of the atmosphere and ocean that govern our monsoons.

An article on India’s INSAT-3D Mission by Prof. R. R. Kelkar has appeared in the April 2008 issue of the web magazine, Earth Science India. Visit to read the full text.