The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Wednesday successfully launched earth observation satellite RISAT-2B that would enhance the country’s surveillance capabilities. The radar imaging satellite is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can capture images even under cloudy conditions during night time, according to news agency PTI.
With a mission life of five years, the satellite would also be used for military surveillance, ISRO sources told PTI. It would replace the RISAT-2 that has been in use since 2009 to monitor activities in camps in Pakistan and thwart infiltration bids by terrorists from across the border.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan had earlier described the mission as a “very, very important” one for the country.
“This is a very, very important mission for India. It is an excellent satellite with hi-fi earth observation (capabilities),” he had said.
Our updates will continue. pic.twitter.com/WUTBdNH2XJ
— ISRO (@isro) May 22, 2019
The RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B), meant for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, was released into the orbit around 15 minutes after the lift-off.
The Polar satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) was used in the pre-dawn launch at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre to carry the 615-kg indigenously developed satellite. It was the 14th flight of the PSLV in its core-alone configuration sans the use of the solid strap-on motors. It was also the 72nd launch vehicle mission from Sriharikota and also marked the 36th launch from the first launch pad.
Wednesday’s launch of the PSLV also marked the third launch in 2019. The other two were the PSLV-C45/EMISAT mission, which successfully injected the EMISAT and 29 international customer satellites into their orbits on April 1, and the PSLV-C44, which successfully placed the Microsat-R and the Kalamsat-V2 satellites in designated orbits on January 24.
ISRO had launched RISAT-1, a microwave remote sensing satellite, on April 26, 2012 from Sriharikota.