The 450 kg satellite consists of a SSB/ IMS-2 platform and a SARAL/AltiKa specific payload module. The platform provides all housekeeping functions including propulsion, electrical power, command and data handling, telecommunications, and attitude control. The payload module provides mechanical, electrical, thermal, and dynamical support to the SARAL/AltiKa instruments.
The SARAL satellite is mainly composed of:
- A spacecraft bus IMS-2 (Small Satellite Bus). This platform, developed by ISRO, is designed for satellites in the range of about 500 kg at launch.
- a payload developed by CNES.
The SARAL payload includes the following components:
- An Altimeter, provided by CNES - the main mission instrument and a dual frequency microwave radiometer, provided by CNES - to correct the altimeter measurement for atmospheric range delays induced by water vapor.
- The radio positioning DORIS system, provided by CNES - for precision orbit determination using dedicated ground stations
The AltiKa instrument consists of a Ka-band altimeter and an embedded dual frequency radiometer.
- A Laser Reflector Array (LRA), provided by CNES - to calibrate the orbit determination system.
And the ARGOS-3 instrument (and associated components) that has its own mission on-board the SARAL satellite as part of the ARGOS system.