India plans to launch the Insat-3D meteorological satellite in 2013.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) spacecraft is expected to provide information on atmospheric characteristics such as cloud motion, winds, vertical profiles of humidity and temperature, total precipitable water, sea surface temperature over the Indian Ocean and outgoing radiation, says V. Narayanasamy, an official in the prime minister’s office.

“The data obtained from this satellite along with ground-based observations would help to derive information about climatic conditions, including rain,” Narayanasamy told parliament Sept. 6.

The Indian National Satellite (Insat) system is one of the largest for domestic communication satellites in the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1983 with the commissioning of Insat-1B, the system encompassed 24 satellites, of which 10 are still in service: Insat-2E, Insat-3A, Insat-4B, Insat-3C, Insat-3E, Kalpana-1, Insat-4A, Insat-4CR, GSAT-8 and GSAT-12.

The system — with a total of 187 transponders in the C-, Extended C- and Ku-bands — provides services for telecommunications, television broadcasting, weather forecasting, disaster warning, and search and rescue operations.