ISRO launches RISAT, a ‘cloud-proof’ spy satellite, months after Balakot airstrike

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RISAT
Source: ISRO

Months after India successfully tested its first Anti-satellite Test (ASAT) and became the fourth country after US, Russia and china to perform such a test, ISRO today at approximately 5:30 A.M successfully launched RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging earth observatory Satellite) and thereby added one more satellite to its radar imaging satellite fleet.

The launch was performed from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Shriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The 615kg satellite was launched onboard a polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-C46). PSLV-C46 placed the satellite into an orbit of 555KM at an inclination of 37 degrees.

This was the 48th mission of PSLV and the third radar imaging satellite that ISRO has launched in last 10 years with RISAT-2 being the first of the RISAT series which was launched on April 20,2009. After that RISAT-1 was launched on April 26,2012 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre,Shriharikota.Originally RISAT-1 was planned for the initial launch but after the 2008 Mumbai attacks the plan was modified to launch RISAT-2 before RISAT-1 because the indigenously build C-Band SAR was still in its final phase of development. RISAT-2 used an Israeli build X-Band SAR which was more advanced.

RISAT-2B has a mission life of 5 years , the radar imaging earth observation satellite uses X-band SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radars) to provide service in the field of agricultural
science and disaster management. Along with this RISAT-2B will also be used for surveillance purposes.

Since RISAT-2B is equipped with X-Band SAR it will be able to take images and look through the thick clouds to observe the surface of Earth. RISAT-2B will provide detailed view of earth’s surface with a resolution of 1 meter. RISAT-2B will more specifically watch over the Indo-Pak border to monitor any foreign threat to the country. Unlike previous Indian observation satellites which relied on optical and spectral sensors and were obstructed by cloud cover, the RISAT series are the first all weather earth observation satellite.

The launch also carried a complex 3.6 metre unfurlable radial antenna. Dr.Sivan, Chairperson of ISRO also announced that a new-series of high resolution optical surveillance satellites called Cartosat-3 will also be launched sometime later this year.

(Inputs to the story by Kavinder Rawal)

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