Cartosat-3 is the fifth satellite of the Cartosat series of satellites from ISRO, the current generation of Indian remote sensing satellites, which are intended to replace the IRS series. Cartosat-1 has a resolution of 2.5 m with stereo imaging capability. Cartosat-2, launched on 10 January 2007 is a highly agile satellite with a PAN camera and has a resolution of 0.8 m, and could provide spot imaging using ‘paint-brush’ coverage for any given area of interest.
Cartosat-3 is a much more capable satellite, having a resolution of 25 cm (10"). It uses 1.2 m optics with 60% of weight removal compared to Cartosat-2. Other features include the use of adaptive optics, acousto optical devices, in-orbit focusing using MEMs and large area-light weight mirrors.
Cartosat-3 is planned to be launched on board PSLV during 2014. Potential uses include weather mapping, cartography, and strategic applications. A budget outlay of 10 crore (US$1.5 million) has been made specifically for the satellite for the financial year 2013-14.