India and France are working on their third joint satellite mission, even as bilateral space collaboration enters several areas, including the manned flight program, ISRO President K Sivan said.
Sivan, also secretary in the Space Department, said many French companies are keen to take advantage of the opportunities created by recent reforms introduced in the space sector by the government.
“France is India’s biggest partner in space,” he declared during the Golden Jubilee speech of the DST (Department of Science and Technology) on “the release of the space potential of the world. ‘India – geospatial data and mapping’, an event presented in virtual mode by the National Council. for science and technology communication and “Vigyan Prasar” Friday.
According to ISRO officials, ISRO and the French space agency CNES (National Center for Space Studies) undertook two joint missions “Megha-Tropics”, launched in 2011, and “Saral-Altika” in 2013.
“Currently, we are working on the third (mission),” Sivan said.
The officials said that ISRO and CNES have completed the feasibility study to carry out the mission of the Earth Observation Satellite with Thermal Infrared Imager, TRISHNA (Thermal Infrared Imaging Satellite for Natural Resources Assessment at high resolution) and are working to finalize a Joint Development Implementation Agreement.
Sivan said India was also working with France on joint experiments and hosting scientific instruments in space missions.
“Indo-French space collaboration extends to multiple areas, including space exploration and the human space flight program,” he said.
ISRO officials said the two space agencies had also finalized all interface control documents to accommodate the CNES ‘ARGOS’ instrument in the ISRO OCEANSAT-3 satellite.
The ARGOS instrument was delivered to Bengaluru for integration with the satellite.
“Discussions on the establishment of the” NavIC “reference station (an independent regional satellite navigation system developed and maintained by India) in France and the” Scintillation “receivers of CNES in India are also progressing well”, they declared.
The ISRO-CNES HSP (Human Space Program) working group had a number of discussions on the medical aspects of human spaceflight and finalized an implementing agreement to formalize cooperation in the field of space medicine, a we noted.
Sivan said that with recent reforms initiated by the government in the space sector, Indo-French space cooperation should develop further by involving industries, universities and research institutes.
He indicated that many French companies want to “make use of” the reforms in the sector and “they will get involved”.
Thus, the reforms would not only strengthen space cooperation at the government-to-government level, but the interaction between industry will have a “new look” in the new environment, Sivan added. PTI