Mar 02, 2023
SARAL (Satellite with ARgos and ALtika) is an Indo-French cooperative mission. ISRO has provided the small satellite bus platform to which CNES payload composed of ARGOS-3 and AltiKa instruments (altimeter, radiometer, DORIS, LRA) are integrated.
SARAL was launched on February 25, 2013, from SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota onboard PSLV-C20. The intended mission life was 5 years.
Imagined at the turn of the millennium, AltiKa is a technological breakthrough that offered a Ka-band altimeter for the first time to measure the topography of the surface of the oceans. Altika enabled imaging the coasts, rivers and lakes with better resolution than its predecessors. Lesser penetration depth of Ka-band waves into the snow or ice than that of the lower frequency counterparts facilitated more accurate measurement of the altitudes.
Besides contributing to the observation of the oceanic circulation of mesoscale (between 50 and 500 km) essential to understanding the dynamics of the ocean and its climatic impacts, AltiKa data are also widely used by glaciologists and hydrologists.
Thanks to the efforts of ISRO, CNES, and EUMETSAT operational teams, SARAL is relentlessly pursuing its work as an ocean surveyor for the benefit of the international scientific community and the Copernicus Marine Service.