CNES has a strong presence at the 2016 Bengaluru Space Expo, which is held bi-annually and is the only trade show in the region to be dedicated exclusively to space. This fifth edition is being held from 1-3 September and features a vast CNES exhibition stand showcasing all the agency’s areas of excellence, with special emphasis this year on France-India’s rapprochement in the area of space-based climate monitoring.
Also in the spotlight at this latest edition of the Bengaluru Space Expo is Team Indus, the first private mission to the moon, for which CNES will supply several latest-generation CASPEX micro-cameras. Leader of India’s NewSpace, the start-up’s exhibition stand shows how the cameras are being implemented and features the qualification models of the lunar rover and landing modules.
On the sidelines of the event, Jean-Yves Le Gall met with Dr Kiran Kumar, President of ISRO, to assess the progress of ongoing programmes and discuss the launch in 2018 of the French Argos instrument on board Indian satellite Oceansat 3, as well as the development of the future French-Indian thermal infrared observation satellite.
CNES/ISRO cooperation is primarily centred on environmental monitoring from space. The two space agencies spearheaded the New Delhi Declaration, in which more than 60 countries committed to the use of space assets to curb global warming, through the creation of an independent system for estimating greenhouse gas emissions (a prerequisite for implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement). Two French-Indian climate monitoring satellites are currently in orbit—the Megha-Tropiques mission to observe the tropical atmosphere, launched in 2011, and the Saral/AltiKa oceanography and localization mission launched in 2013.