The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is to provide data free of charge to research organisations, universities and institutions in third-world countries from its TWSAT (Third World Satellite), the first satellite in ISRO's micro satellite series.

Dr SK Sharma, director of project planning at ISRO's Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre (SAC), says the TWSAT weighs 5-6kg (11-13lb) and features a multi-spectral camera providing images with about 36m (118ft) spatial resolution and a swath of 151km (94 miles). The satellite will be launched as a piggyback payload onboard the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during 2007-08.

Sharma says a microsatellite launch platform could carry payloads for Earth observation, space science research and ocean studies. ISRO has already invited proposals from the Indian scientific community for carrying experimental packages onboard this microsatellite platforms in the coming years.

Source: Flight International