After 10 years, it’s the “end of mission” for the Indo-French Megha-tropics | Bangalore News

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Bangalore: More than 10 years after its launch, Megha-Tropiques, the joint Indo-French weather modeling satellite that studied the water cycle and energy exchanges in the tropics, has reached what ISRO calls the “end of mission”. The satellite, which was launched in October 2011 and initially estimated to have a lifespan of five years, operated for five years and six months longer than initial estimates and sent at least 5TB of raw data, which produced about 30 TB of data. data hosted on various servers.
A senior scientist from Isro told TOI: “To date, the satellite still has 120 kg of fuel and the end of the mission is also not due to failures in communication, solar panels or any other system or because we have lost communication. All still work. The decision to declare “end of mission” was taken because the satellite had developed an “attitude problem” which rendered the data unusable. Simply put, another scientist explained, “When my face is in front of yours and I see you, it is my attitude to see you. Now, if my face vibrates continuously, your image will be blurry. The same thing happens with the satellite, and there is no ground track limit.
The issue was first noticed in early to mid-March, and since this is a science mission, there are minimum requirements. Even if the payloads are healthy, the mission will not continue if the data is not usable.
“Every day, the satellite makes 14 orbits and should provide data on each of these orbits. However, in the last few months it only provides data for about 4-5 orbits. That said, this was one of the most successful missions we’ve had. It has generated a lot of important data and there are dozens of doctors who have come out of this data,” said the first scientist.
Currently, Megha-Tropiques is in orbit about 870 km from Earth. As required by procedure, Isro will now have to restart the engines and reduce altitude through orbit reduction maneuvers. Sources said the plan was to return the satellite to an orbit within 300 km of Earth. It will be checked. After that, which should be done in the next fortnight, the satellite will be monitored for more than two months.
Once ground stations lose telemetry connection, the spacecraft will be declared as debris and its responsibilities will fall to the Directorate of Space Situational Awareness and Management (DSSAM). “According to estimates, it could reenter the atmosphere in two to three months, which would be according to the shortest time. Or it could take up to 18 months,” the source said.
Isro and the French space agency CNES are now planning another joint mission, Trishna, aimed at precise mapping of Earth’s surface temperatures. In his last speech, former President Sivan K said that “Trishna will be the benchmark for temperature data with the best resolution and repeatability globally”.
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