Chennai, India: The polar satellite launch vehicle C-19 (PSLV-C19) successfully launched into orbit a microwave Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-1) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre near Chennai, India. The indigenous RISAT-1, with a life span of five years, would be used for disaster prediction and agriculture forestry and the high resolution pictures and microwave imaging.
RISAT-1, culmination of nearly ten years of effort by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has the capability to take images of the earth during day and night as well as in cloudy conditions. Till now, India depended on images from a Canadian satellite as existing domestic remote sensing spacecraft cannot take pictures of earth during cloud cover.
“PSLV-C19 mission is a grand success. This is the 20th successive successful flight of PSLV. India’s first indigenous radar imaging satellite was injected precisely into orbit,” ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan said after the launch.
The satellite’s applications will range across agriculture — paddy monitoring in the kharif season — and management of natural disasters like flood and cyclone and could greatly assist food security planning in India.
RISAT-1’s synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can acquire data in C-band and would orbit the earth 14 times a day. RISAT-1 can beam back imaging of the earth surface features during day and night and under all imagined weather conditions. The SAR which gives the RISAT-1 its magic lens also makes it superior to the generation of optical remote sensing satellites in terms of clearer imaging at all times and under any condition.
The RISAT-1 is expected to unfold its sensors and send back active imaging in five days.
In 2009, ISRO had launched 300 kg RISAT-2 with an Israeli built SAR enabling earth observation in all weather, day and night conditions.