University of Reading a key component in India's advanced weather satellite

26 July 2013

The Ariane 5 with Alphasat and INSAT-3D nears its final location on the launch pad.Precision optical components developed by the Infrared Multilayer Laboratory at the University of Reading installed on the INSAT-3D meteorological satellite have just been launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from the Spaceport in French Guiana. The infrared optical filters form a key part of the imager and sounder on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) INSAT-3D meteorological satellite, comprising a six channel imaging radiometer designed to measure radiant and solar reflected energy from areas sampled on the Earth and a nineteen channel high resolution infrared sounder to measure vertical temperature profiles, humidity, surface and cloud top temperatures, and ozone distribution.

INSAT-3D is one of three satellites under development by ISRO exclusively to improve domestic weather forecasting and track cyclones and monsoons originating from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

The filters project, led by Dr Gary Hawkins at the University of Reading together with NDC Infrared Engineering Ltd., have been responsible for the design and manufacture of the narrow-bandpass infrared filters defining the spectral band definition of the instrument. The payload instruments are required to operate for a lifetime of 7 years after launch.

INSAT-3D Liftoff

About the Laboratory

The Infrared Multilayer Laboratory is exclusively engaged in the research, development and supply of specialist high-quality infrared optics; ranging from coatings for single optical components, to the complete spectral design and manufacture of coatings for complex infrared space-flight atmospheric sensing and ground based astronomical instruments.

The laboratory has established and maintained a long heritage of research, and an internationally renowned reputation as experts at the forefront of thin-film engineering of optical coatings for deployment in state-of-the-art astronomy and planetary remote-sensing instrumentation. The laboratory has been actively involved with projects for development of unique infrared optical components for instruments including ESA's Living Planet EarthCARE Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI), ESA GMES Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), NASA/ESA JWST Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) and the ISRO SAC Indian National Satellite System (INSAT-3D) radiometer programmes. These missions are destined to provide global observations of land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring for use in meteorological theories on climate change, and the study of astrophysical properties of stars and other planetary objects.

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