How satellites track the weather

Syllabus: GS-III

Subject: Science & Technology

Topic: Developments and their Applications in Everyday Life

Context: India Meteorological Department (IMD) report of a high likelihood of “very dense fog” in Haryana, Chandigarh, and Delhi.


  • IMD has used maps from the INSAT 3D and INSAT 3DR satellites.
  • Both satellites use radiometers to make their spectral measurements.
  • A radiometer is a device that measures various useful properties of radiation like temperature and electrical activity.
  • The INSAT (Indian National Satellite System)
    • series of multipurpose geostationary satellites launched by ISRO
    • For weather monitoring, forecasting and warning services (meteorology), telecommunications, broadcasting, and search and rescue operations.
  • Kalpana-1 is an exclusive meteorological satellite launched by PSLV in September 2002. Deactivated Kalpana 1 in 2017.

Conclusion: ISRO is expected to launch the INSAT 3DS meteorological satellite in 2024 which will further improve the weather forecasting and warning capabilties in India.

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