Feb 25, 2013


The Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA (SARAL) is a joint Indo-French satellite mission for oceanographic studies. SARAL performs altimetric measurements designed to study ocean circulation and sea surface elevation.

The payloads of SARAL are:

  • Ka band Altimeter, ALTIKA- built by the French National Space Agency CNES. The payload is intended for oceanographic applications, operates at 35.75 Giga Hertz.
  • ARGOS Data Collection System- built by the French National Space Agency CNES. ARGOS contributes to the development and operational implementation of the global ARGOS Data Collection System. It will collect a variety of data from ocean buoys to transmit the same to the ARGOS Ground Segment for subsequent processing and distribution.
  • Solid State C-band Transponder (SCBT) is from ISRO and intended for ground RADAR calibration. It is a continuation of such support provided by C-Band Transponders flown in the earlier IRS-P3 and IRS-P5 missions.

The payloads of SARAL are accommodated in the Indian Mini Satellite-2 bus, which is built by ISRO.


SARAL Applications

SARAL data products will be useful for operational as well as research user communities in many fields like

  • Marine meteorology and sea state forecasting
  • Operational oceanography
  • Seasonal forecasting
  • Climate monitoring
  • Ocean, earth system and climate research
  • Continental ice studies
  • Protection of biodiversity
  • Management and protection of marine ecosystem
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Improvement of maritime security
Lift-off Mass 407 kg
Orbit 781 km polar Sun synchronous
Sensors 4 PI sun sensors, magnetometer, star sensors and miniaturised gyro based Inertial Reference Unit
Orbit Inclination 98.538o
Local Time of Equator 18:00 hours crossing
Power Solar Array generating 906 W and 46.8 Ampere-hour Lithium-ion battery
Onboard data storage 32 Gb
Attitude and Orbit Control 3-axis stabilisation with reaction wheels, Hydrazine Control System based thrusters
Mission Life 5 years
Launch date Feb 25, 2013
Launch site SDSC SHAR Centre, Sriharikota, India
Launch vehicle PSLV - C20
Launch Mass: 
407 kg
Mission Life: 
5 years
906 W
Launch Vehicle: 
Type of Satellite: 
Earth Observation
Climate & Environment
Earth Observation
Orbit Type: