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Press release on Letter Of Intent (LOI) signed on Oceansat-2 Collaboration

Washington, DC
November 18, 2009

NASA represented by Dr Michael H Freilich, Director Earth Science Division, NOAA represented by Ms Mary E Kicza Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Science and ISRO, represented by Dr. R R Navalgund, Director, Space Application Centre, ISRO, signed the Letter Of Intent (LOI) today November 18, 2009 on Oceansat-2 collaboration, during the sidelines of Sixth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC. Ambassador Arun K Singh, Deputy Chief of Mission, Deviprasad Karnik, Counsellor (Space) from Embassy of India and representatives of NOAA & NASA have also participated in the event.

The Oceanographic Satellite OCEANSAT-2 was successfully launched by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), India on September 23, 2009 using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Shriharikota, India’s spaceport. Oceansat-2 carries three instruments viz., the eight band Ocean Color Monitor (OCM) to study Ocean biology, Ku band pencil beam Scatterometer to measure sea surface wind vectors and Radio Occultation Sounder for Atmosphere (ROSA). While the first two instruments are ISRO built, ROSA has been contributed by the Italian Space Agency. All the three payloads have been switched on and are working satisfactorily, providing valuable data. 

The LOI signed between ISRO, NASA and NOAA promotes opportunity for receiving Oceansat-2 data by the US agencies for research, education and activities of public good. The joint activities would include calibration, validation, algorithm development, scientific investigations and operational applications. While ocean color data is envisaged to be useful for fisheries, monitoring of harmful algae and in studying global carbon cycles, wind vectors from scatterometer would be useful in facilitating better weather forecasting.

This initiative is under the overall Joint Civil Space Cooperation agreement, signed earlier by India & US. 
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