RISAT-2B satellite will improve India’s surveillance
India had launched satellites, RISAT-2 in 2009 and Risat-1 in 2012 which helped security and intelligence agencies. Some operations include the surgical strike on Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir in 2016 and the Balakot aerial strike in February 2019.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched an advanced earth observation satellite named RISAT-2B on May 22.
After a 25-hour countdown, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) carried the 615 kg RISAT-2B satellite at 5.30 a.m from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. It was released into its designated orbit of 555 km at a 37-degree inclination, 15 minutes and 30 seconds after the lift-off.
Significance of RISAT
The RISAT-2B is a Radar Imaging Satellite that belongs to the RISAT series by ISRO that provides all-weather surveillance mechanisms. It will replace the RISAT-2 that was launched in 2009 after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
RISAT-2 was India’s first dedicated reconnaissance satellite that focused on border surveillance, deterring insurgent infiltration, and anti-terrorist operations. It has been actively used to monitor activities in the country’s border camps near Pakistan to prevent infiltration.
The RISAT-2B’s technology is complex--a 3.6m unfurlable radial rib antenna. Ideally, the goal of an unfurlable antenna is that it can be unfolded in space to form a larger antenna.
With a mission life of five years, the RISAT-2B is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth 24X7 even in cloudy conditions. It is said to enhance the country's surveillance capabilities. Its applications extend to agriculture, forestry, and disaster management support.
The revolutionary PSLV
The PSLV-C46 was the 14th flight of the PSLV in its core-alone configuration. Speaking to PTI from the Mission Control Centre, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said, “This particular mission for PSLV is a very, very important mission. With this launch, PSLV lofts 50 tonnes to space by launching 354 satellites, including national, student and foreign satellites.”
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle carried two important payloads, namely, an indigenously developed processor and a low-cost Inertial Navigation System. "A second demonstration of the reusable launch vehicle is going to happen in the coming months. Cost effective small satellite launch vehicle developments are also going to take place in a few months from now," said Sivan.
ISRO’s future plans
The Chandrayaan-2 mission set to take place between July 9 and July 16 will be a landmark mission for India. Sivan said, “It is going to be the most complex mission ever undertaken by ISRO.” He added that the landing on the moon is expected to be on September 6. "It is going to land at a particular location where nobody has gone before."