The Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) on board India’s first exclusive
meteorological satellite, METSAT, was successfully switched on from Master
Control Facility, Hassan at 12:45 hours yesterday (September 19, 2002). The
earth image in the Visible spectral band was taken in full-frame mode, which
covers the full earth disc and the adjoining deep space.

The earth imaging in Water Vapour and Infra-red spectral bands were
commanded at 08:15 and 09:00 hours respectively today (September 20, 2002).
The images taken in the Visible, Water Vapour and Thermal Infra-red spectral
bands received at Master Control Facility, Hassan are of excellent quality.

VHRR on board METSAT has the capability to take images of earth in three
spectral bands, — Visible, Water Vapour and Thermal Infra-Red. The pictures
provide a spatial resolution of 2 km x 2 km in Visible band and 8 km x 8 km
in Water Vapour and thermal Infra-red bands.

In addition to VHRR, the METSAT carries a Data Relay Transponder (DRT)
configured to collect local meteorological information from unattended data
collection platforms and relay them to Meteorological Data Utilisation
Centre at New Delhi.

It may be recalled that METSAT was launched by Polar Satellite Launch
Vehicle, PSLV-C4, from Satish Dhawan Space Center, SHAR on September 12,
2002. Following the successful launch, orbit raising manoeuvres were
conducted and the spacecraft was placed in the near Geo-Synchronous Orbit
(GSO). It is now moving towards its intended orbital slot of 74 deg East
longitude as per the plans. The 3-axis stabilisation of the spacecraft was
carried out on September 16, 2002. The drift arresting manoeuvres were
started yesterday from MCF, Hassan and the spacecraft is expected to be
positioned in its designated orbital slot of 74 degree East on September 24,

The detailed In-Orbit Testing (IOT) of the payload will start from September
23, 2002 and operational meteorological services from METSAT are expected to
commence from the first week of October 2002.