Bangalore: ISRO has completed all key tests on INSAT-3DS satellite before the final review which will be followed by its shipping to the spaceport in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The satellite will be launched onboard ISRO’s GSLV launch vehicle and as per the latest Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) issued by the space agency, the launch window is between Feb 17 and March 17 reported TOI.

Insat-3DS is part of a series of climate observatory satellites being launched by India and follows the Insat-3DR launched in 2016. “All the tests are complete. We will take a call on when to take it to the spaceport after the final review,” ISRO chairman S Somanath said Tuesday. The launch will not only put an advanced Indian meteorological satellite in space, but also qualify the GSLV for the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite launch, expected to happen in March as first reported by TOI late last year.

In its most recent update on NISAR, NASA, while reiterating that the soon-to-launch synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite will measure some key Earth vital signs — from the health of wetlands to ground deformation by volcanoes to the dynamics of land — said it will study changes to ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice in fine detail as climate change warms the air and ocean. “This last capability will help researchers decipher how small-scale processes can cause monumental changes in the ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland, as well as on mountain glaciers and sea ice around the world,” Nasa stated.

Nisar will provide the most comprehensive picture to date of motion and deformation of frozen surfaces in Earth’s ice- and snow-covered environments, collectively known as the cryosphere. “Our planet has the thermostat set on high, and Earth’s ice is responding by speeding up its motion and melting faster… We need to better understand the processes at play, and NISAR will provide measurements to do that,” said Alex Gardner, a glaciologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.