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India-France to launch Constellation of Maritime Surveillance Satellites

The constellation of maritime surveillance satellites for the Indian Ocean Region, to be jointly launched by India and France, will be able to trace illegal spillage of oil by ships, a senior French space agency CENS official said recently.

In August 2020, the ISRO and the French Space Agency CNES agreed to develop and build a constellation of satellites. CNES is Centre National d’etudes spatiales, the National Centre for Space Studies. The satellites will carry optical-remote sensing instruments, telecommunication and radar instruments. This system is the first space-based system in the world that is capable of tracking ships continuously.
The monitoring centre is to be based in India. The satellites are to be operated jointly by both France and India. The system will also cover the entire world at the benefit of French Economic Interests.

Key Highlights
The main purpose of this is to trace illegal spillage of oil by ships. The Indian Ocean Region has several Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC) and used by many ships every day.
The satellites will be operated jointly by France and India to monitor ships in the Indian Ocean.
The system will also cover a wide belt around the globe, benefiting a broad range of French economic interests, the official said.
Parts of the satellites will be built in both the countries and launched from India, he added.
CNES and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are also operating a number of climate-monitoring satellites together.
‘Trishna’, a highly precise thermal infrared observer, will also be part of the fleet of Indo-French satellites.

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