An Isro (Indian Space Research Organization) satellite, Saral (Satellite with ARgos and ALtika), embarks the AltiKa altimeter (working in Ka-band, 35 GHz), built by Cnes, as well as a Doris instrument. Signal frequencies in the Ka-band will enable better observation of ice, rain, coastal zones, land masses (forests, etc.), and wave heights.
The Saral mission is an essential component of the altimetry constellation from 2013 onwards, re-occupying the long-term ERS and Envisat ground track. Saral/AltiKa also provides the first demonstration of Ka-band altimeter capabilities for fine resolution along-track applications, including for coastal and inland water applications, which will be further developed for the future Swot mission. Its central objectives are:
From its launch on February 2013 to July 2016, Saral/AltiKa has a repetitive orbit. Due to technical issues on the reaction wheels from March 2015, CNES and ISRO have decided to pursue this mission with a new phase named “SARAL-DP” for SARAL-Drifting Orbit". From July 2016, and during this drifting phase, the repetitive ground track are no more maintained and with the natural decay of the orbit, the ground track will drift.
Saral, La vigie des océans (video in french). Credits Cnes.
- News of the Saral mission: pre-launch, video of the launch on 2013/02/25, Doris and Altika on, first waveforms, first products generated
- Leaflet on Saral/Altika (pdf)
- Saral on the Cnes space scientific missions web site
- Presentations given during the "2nd SARAL/AltiKa Science Workshop" (Amhedabad, March 2011).
- N.Steunou, OSTST 2010, Altika, a new concept of altimeter for the Saral mission: description and pre-flight performances. pdf
- J.Verron, OSTST 2010, Keynote Talk: SARAL/AltiKa, Ka-band altimetry over oceans, coastal and hydrology surfaces, pdf
- N. Steunou, OST/ST 2008, Ka-band altimeter for Altika/SARAL oceanography mission, pdf
- Saral/AltiKa Joint Calval Plan (pdf): This is the plan objective for Saral satellite during and beyond the calibration/validation phase, conducted by the two partners Cnes and Isro project teams.