Indo-French space group review collaborative projects in Goa

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Panaji, Jul 7 (UNI) The Joint Working Group of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the French Space Agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) reviewed the progress of the on-going collaborative programmes at a two-day meeting held here in Goa.

The meeting which concluded here yesterday, was held under the chairmanship of Dr G Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO and Dr Yannick d'Escatha, President, CNES.

One of the prestigious projects reviewed was ''Megha Tropiques'', a satellite project scheduled for launch during 2009 for tropical weather monitoring.

The satellite carries four payloads - a Microwave Radiometer, a humidity sounder, a radiation measuring instrument and a Radio occultation sounder for atmospheric studies.

During the meeting, an agreement between ISRO and CNES on the Data Policy for distribution of data received from ''Megha Tropiques'' was also signed.

This enables the global scientific community to have free access to ''Megha Tropiques'' data after calibration and evaluation of the payloads by scientists from both the agencies for weather and climate change studies. The data is expected to enhance a better understanding of the tropical weather phenomena including the monsoons.

The meeting also reviewed the status of SARAL, a small satellite mission with payloads from CNES for the study of ocean parameters towards enhancing the understanding of the ocean state conditions which are otherwise not covered by the in-situ measurements.

The satellite carries a Ka band altimeter and a payload for reception of ARGO floats deployed all over the world oceans. The altimeter data will provide support in coastal environment studies, estuarine, bathymetry and preparedness towards Tsunami disaster.

The periodic data collection over the oceans permits climate assimilations for improved weather forecast.

While reviewing the future collaborative projects, the teams emphasized the need for space-based observations for climate, environment and disaster management.

The scientists also exchanged ideas for cooperation in conceiving space based systems and methodologies, which lead to a better understanding to tropical weather and climate.

The cooperation between the two agencies is expected to enhance interaction between scientists outside space agencies in India and France and among the global scientific community.

It was re-emphasized that technical and scientific strengths of ISRO and CNES would lead to evolving and establishing innovative operational space systems in addressing issues related to the tropical weather and climate.

Both the agencies concluded that these efforts should facilitate achieving leadership position in understanding the tropical climate.

The meeting further re-established the relevance of the successful Indo-French cooperation in space activities.

UNI BM VKG AKJ AS2311

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