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Mission type Earth Observation, Remote Sensing
Operator ISRO
Mission duration 9 years, 10 months
Spacecraft properties
Bus I-2K
Manufacturer ISRO
Launch mass 922 kilograms (2,033 lb)
Power 817 watts
Start of mission
Launch date March 21, 1996 (1996-03-21)
Rocket PSLV-D3
Launch site Sriharikota FLP
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Sun-synchronous
Perigee 814 kilometres (506 mi)
Apogee 820 kilometres (510 mi)
Inclination 98.6909 degrees
Period 100.97 minutes
Epoch 06 June 2016 19:50:06 (UTC)[1]

IRS-P3 was an experimental earth observation mission undertaken by ISRO. The objectives of the mission was processing and interpretation of data generated by its two payloads, the Wide Field sensor and Modular Optoelectric Sensor, developed by the German Aerospace Center).[2]


IRS-P3 is remote sensing satellite launched by ISRO on board of PSLV rocket for Remote sensing of earth's natural resources and Study of X-ray Astronomy. The IRS-P3 satellite contained an X-ray astronomy payload, a C-band transponder and two remote sensing payloads. IRS-P3 is one of the satellite in the Indian Remote Sensing series of Earth Observation satellites, assembled, launched and maintained by Indian Space Research Organisation. There was no data recording device on board of the IRS-P3 and data was transmitted in real time to the ground stations in Hyderabad (India) and Neustrelitz (Germany).[3] The mission was completed during January 2006 after serving for 9 years and 10 months.[4] With the consecutive successful launches of the PSLV, it was decided not to plan any more ASLV missions.[5]


IRS-P3 carried two remote sensingpayloads and one X-ray astronomy:

  • Wide Field sensor(WiFS) with additional Short Wave Infrared Band (SWIR). The sensor was designed for vegetation dynamic studies.
  • Modular Opto-electronic Scanner (MOS)[6] which was provided by DLR (Germany) in the framework of a cooperative agreement between ISRO and DLR.[4][7] MOS was designed for ocean remote sensing.[8][9]
  • Indian X-ray Astronomy Experiment (IXAE). IXAE was aimed to study the time variability and spectral characteristics of cosmic X-ray sources and for detection of transient X-ray sources. The experiment was developed by ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) and Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR). The experiment was intended to study periodic & aperiodic intensity variation in Galactic/ Extragalactic X-ray, spectral characteristics of various sources and properties of newly discovered X-ray transients. IXAE instruments consisted of three identical pointed mode proportional counters (PPCs) operated in the energy range 2-20 keV, FOV of 2° x 2° and effective area of 1200 cm2, and an X-ray sky monitor (XSM) operating in the energy range 2-10 keV.[10]

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