Country of originIndia
ApplicationsOptical Earth observation
Launch mass700–1,600 kg (1,500–3,500 lb)
Power0.9-1.1 kW
EquipmentPanchromatic cameras
Maiden launchCartosat-1 (2005)
Last launchCartosat-3 (2019)

The Cartosat is a series of Indian optical Earth observation satellites built and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Cartosat series is a part of the Indian Remote Sensing Program. They are used for Earth's resource management, defence services and monitoring.


The Department of Space (DoS) had launched and managed the IRS series of remote sensing satellites for Earth's resource management and monitoring. These satellites were very successful in providing data in various scales ranging from 1:1 Million to 1:12,500 scale.[1] Each of the IRS missions ensured data continuity while introducing improvements in the spatial, spectral and radiometric resolutions. Considering increased demand for large scale and topographic mapping data, the DoS launched the expanded Cartosat series of remote sensing satellites. The first satellite of the series, Cartosat-1, was launched in 2005.



Main article: Cartosat-1

Cartosat-1 was launched by PSLV-C6 on 5 May 2005 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre's SLP at Sriharikota.[2] Images from the satellite are available from GeoEye for worldwide distribution. The satellite covers the entire globe in 1867 orbits on a 126-day cycle.[1] It carries two state-of-the-art panchromatic (PAN) cameras that take black and white stereoscopic pictures of the earth in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The two cameras with 2.5 m spatial resolution, acquire two images simultaneously, one forward looking (FORE) at +26 degrees and one aft of the satellite at −5 degrees for near instantaneous stereo data.[3] The time difference between the acquisitions of the same scene by the two cameras is about 52 seconds.[1]


Main article: Cartosat-2

Cartosat-2 was launched by PSLV-C7 on 10 January 2007 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre's FLP at Sriharikota. Cartosat-2 carries a state-of-the-art panchromatic (PAN) camera that take black and white pictures of the Earth in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The swath covered by this high resolution PAN camera is 9.6 km and their spatial resolution is less than 1 metre.[4] The satellite can be steered up to 45 degrees along as well as across the track. Cartosat-2 is an advanced remote sensing satellite capable of providing scene-specific spot imagery. The data from the satellite is used for detailed mapping and other cartographic applications at cad-astral level, urban and rural infrastructure development and management, as well as applications in Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS).


Main article: Cartosat-2A

Cartosat-2A was launched by PSLV-C9 on 28 April 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota along with nine other satellites.[5] It is a dedicated satellite for the Indian Armed Forces which is in the process of establishing an Aerospace Command.[6] The satellite carries a panchromatic (PAN) camera capable of taking black-and-white pictures in the visible region of electromagnetic spectrum. The highly agile Cartosat-2A can be steered up to 45 degrees along as well as across the direction of its movement to facilitate imaging of any area more frequently.


Main article: Cartosat-2B

Cartosat-2B was launched by PSLV-C15 on 12 July 2010 from Sriharikota. The satellite carries a panchromatic (PAN) camera capable of taking black-and-white pictures in the visible region of electromagnetic spectrum. The highly agile CARTOSAT-2B can be steered up to 26 degrees along as well as across the direction of its movement to facilitate imaging of any area more frequently.[7]


Main article: Cartosat-2C

Cartosat-2C has a lower resolution of 25 cm (10"). It uses 1.2 m optics with 60% of weight removal compared to Cartosat-2. Other features include the use of adaptive optics, acousto optical devices, in-orbit focusing using MEMs and large area-light weight mirrors.[8] The satellite was to be launched on board PSLV C-34 during 2014,[9] but was delayed and finally launched on 22 June 2016. Its uses include weather mapping, cartography, and strategic applications.[10][11][12]


Main article: Cartosat-2D

Cartosat-2D was launched by PSLV-C37 on 15 February 2017 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.


Main article: Cartosat-2E

Cartosat-2E was launched by PSLV-C38 on 23 June 2017. The PSLV-C38 rocket launched the 712 kg satellite along with 30 other nano satellites.


Main article: Cartosat-2F

Cartosat-2F was launched successfully by PSLV-C40 on 12 January 2018. The PSLV-C40 rocket launched the 710 kg satellite, the seventh of the Cartosat-2 series, along with 30 other nano satellites from India, Canada, Finland, France, Republic of Korea, UK and the USA.[13][14]


Main article: Cartosat-3

Cartosat-3 was launched on 27 November 2019 by PSLV-C47 rocket along with 13 other cubesats from USA.[15] It has a panchromatic resolution of 0.25 metres making it the imaging satellite with highest resolution and Mx of 1 metre with a high quality resolution which is a major improvement from the previous payloads in the Cartosat series.[16]

Launch Schedule

Designation Resolution (in meters) COSPAR ID NORAD ID Power Launch date, Time (UTC) Launch mass Launch vehicle Launch site Remarks
Cartosat-1/IRS-P5 2.5 2005-017A 28649 1100 W 5 May 2005, 04:44 1,560 kg (3,440 lb) PSLV-G C6 SLP, SDSC First satellite in the series.
Cartosat-2/IRS-P7 < 1 2007-001B 29710 900 W 10 January 2007 , 03:57 680 kg (1,500 lb) PSLV-G C7 FLP, SDSC Can be steered up to 45 degrees.
Cartosat-2A Unknown 2008-021A 32783 900 W 28 April 2008, 03:54 690 kg (1,520 lb) PSLV-CA C9 SLP, SDSC Dedicated to be used by Indian Armed Forces.
Cartosat-2B 2010-035A 36795 930 W 12 July 2010, 03:52 694 kg (1,530 lb) PSLV-CA C15 FLP, SDSC Can be steered 26 degrees along as well as across.
Cartosat-2C 1.2 2016-040A 41599 986 W 22 June 2016, 03:56 727.5 kg (1,604 lb) PSLV-XL C34 SLP, SDSC Reduced mass and improved payloads
Cartosat-2D 2017-008A 41948 986 W 15 February 2017, 03:58 712 kg (1,570 lb) PSLV-XL C37 FLP, SDSC
Cartosat-2E 2017-036C 42767 986 W 23 June 2017, 03:59 712 kg (1,570 lb) PSLV-XL C38 FLP, SDSC
Cartosat-2F 2018-004A 43111 986 W 12 January 2018, 03:59 710 kg (1,570 lb) PSLV-XL C40 FLP, SDSC
Cartosat-3 0.25 2019-081A 44804 2000 W 27 November 2019, 03:58 1,625 kg (3,583 lb) PSLV-XL C47 SLP, SDSC Indian satellite with highest resolution in the world today, high quality imaging at 1 metre resolution
Cartosat-3A (EOS-08) 2024-25 PSLV-XL
Cartosat-3B 2024-25 PSLV-XL

See also


  1. ^ a b c "NRSC: Cartosat-1". Archived from the original on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  2. ^ "PSLV-C6 launched from Sriharikota". The Economic Times. India. 5 May 2005. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Racurs :: Resources :: Articles and Presentations :: Cartosat-1 Stereo Orthokit Data Evaluation". Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Cartosat-2:Optical Satellite". Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  5. ^ India in multi-satellite launch
  6. ^ " India to launch first military satellite in August". 10 June 2008. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Cartosat-2B ISRO Page". Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  8. ^ Current Science, Vol. 93, no. 12, 25 December 2007, page 1729.
  9. ^ ISRO plans satellite series for mapping, climate monitoring – livemint
  10. ^ U Tejonmayam (22 June 2016). "India sets new record in space mission; PSLV C34 successfully injects 20 satellites into orbit". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  11. ^ Dennis S. Jesudasan (22 June 2016). "ISRO's 20-in-1 mission successful". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Big boost to India's space mission: ISRO sets record, launches PSLV-C34 with 20 satellites". The Economic Times. PTI. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  13. ^ HT Correspondent (12 January 2018). "Isro launch LIVE: Space agency successfully launches 100th satellite Cartosat-2, PM congratulates scientists". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  14. ^ "PSLV Successfully Launches 31 Satellites in a Single Flight – ISRO". Archived from the original on 30 November 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  15. ^ Tejonmayam, U. (27 November 2019). "PSLV-C47/Cartosat-3 mission: Isro successfully places remote sensing satellite, 13 US nanosatellites in orbits". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  16. ^ N. Gopal Raj (6 March 2013). "ISRO plans a new high-resolution earth satellite". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 19 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.