Cartosat-3 Mission

Cartosat-3 satellite is a third generation agile advanced satellite having high resolution imaging capability. It was launched on 27 November, 2019 on Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C47 which was the 21st flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with 6 solid strap-on motors) and 49th flight of PSLV. It is an Earth Observation satellite.


Cartosat-3 is the ninth satellite in the CARTOSAT series which have been developed by the national space agency to further advance its remote sensing and mapping applications. The first such satellite (Cartosat-1) was launched in early 2005 as part of the Indian Remote Sensing Programme. The current satellite has a mission life of five years.

Significance of Cartosat-3

  • Very High Resolution Camera: CARTOSAT-3 has a resolution of 25 cm, that is, it can take an image of an object of 25 cm in size from height of 500 km.
  • Spatial and Topographical Data: The satellite would also provide an exhaustive, detailed map of the earth, boosting the currently available spatial and topographical data.


  • Military and Security: India has major security concerns related to cross-border terrorism, and several topography and terrain related problems along the western border. In this scenario, such high-resolution imagery is of great strategic significance particularly, over the region where India shares land and water border with adversary.
  • Civilian Applications: It would be helpful in management and monitoring of land resources, urban planning, coastal studies and various surveys.

Challenge of time-gaps

  • Since, most of these satellites are in polar orbit and pass over any given point of the planet’s surface at the same local mean solar time; they take more than a day to come over that spot again. So there is a time-gap. The revisit time for same location of a Cartosat satellite is more than a day.

Way Forward

  • If there are a constellation of satellites, then they can contribute to more frequent availability of the imagery and adequate visibility of the areas of interest and bring down the time gap significantly.