Megha-Tropiques is a satellite mission to study the water cycle in the tropical atmosphere in the context of climate change A collaborative effort between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Megha-Tropiques was successfully deployed into orbit by a PSLV rocket in October 2011.
Megha-Tropiques was initially scrapped in 2003, but later revived in 2004 after India increased its contribution and overall costs were lowered. With the progress made by GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment), Megha-Tropiques is designed to understand tropical meteorological and climatic processes, by obtaining reliable statistics on the water and energy budget of the tropical atmosphere. Megha-Tropiques complements other data in the current regional monsoon projects such as MAHASRI and the completed GAME project. Megha-Tropiques also seeks to describe the evolution of major tropical weather systems. The focus will be the repetitive measurement of the tropics.
Megha-Tropiques provides instruments that allow simultaneously observation of 3 interrelated components of the atmospheric engine: water vapor, condensed water (clouds and precipitations), and radiative fluxes, facilitating the repetitive sampling of the inter-tropical zone over long periods of time. Its microwave radiometer, Multi-frequency Microwave Scanning Radiometer (MADRAS), complements the radiometers of the other elements of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission.
Instruments fulfill a role to other on geostationary satellites. In this, microwave instruments are essential.
The Megha-Tropiques satellite was successfully placed in an 867 km orbit with an inclination of 20 degrees to the equator by the Indian Space Research Organisation through its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C18) on October 12, 2011. The PSLV-C18 was launched at 11:00 am on October 12, 2011 from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) located in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The satellite was placed in orbit along with three micro satellites: the 10.9 kg SRMSAT built by the SRM University, Chennai, the 3 kg remote sensing satellite Jugnu from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur(IIT Kanpur) and the 28.7 kg VesselSat-1 of Luxembourg to locate ships on high seas.