The Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday launched imaging and mapping satellite Cartosat-3. Along with the advanced earth observation satellite, ISRO also launched 13 nanosatellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. It will all be carried by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C47. The PSLV-C47 successfully injected Cartosat-3 into orbit.

Cartosat-3 will have the “sharpest eye” among civil remote sensing satellites in the world, according to The Hindu. One of its cameras offers a ground resolution of 25 cm. Currently, WorldView-3, a satellite owned by US company Maxar, has the best ground resolution of 31 cm.

A key feature of the Cartosats is that they help to detect changes in natural geographical or man-made features. The cameras can “look back and forth”. Cartosat-3 ushers in the third generation of high-resolution “optical imaging” satellites.

Data collected by the Cartosat series is exclusively used by the armed forces. It is also used for weather mapping and cartography. ISRO said Cartosat-3 would address users’ increased demands for largescale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover. Since 2005, ISRO has orbited eight Cartosats.

Cartosat-3, weighing 1,625 kg, has many new built-in technologies like flexible camera, high-speed data transmission and advanced computer system, according to Space Skyrocket. The mission life of Cartosat-3 would be for five years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Prakash Javadekar congratulated ISRO, and said the space agency has made the country proud. “The advanced Cartosat-3 will augment our high resolution imaging capability,” Modi added.

The launch comes months after ISRO launched Chandrayaan-2, India’s second moon mission, on July 22. It, however, failed to manage a soft landing on the moon.