Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ISRO launches 'spy satellite' RISAT-1

After a highly successful launch of the Agni V, India today launched its own 'spy satellite' RISAT-1. It was powered by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota at 5.47 am this morning. The indigenously made satellite will have day and night viewing capability and will be able to see through cloud cover.


The total cost of the mission is about Rs. 500 crore and is probably the most expensive and most complex mission to be launched from India till date, says Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The 321 tonne launcher, in its most powerful configuration, will endeavour to put India's heaviest satellite till date in orbit. Weighing at 1528 kg, the satellite's main purpose will be to monitor crops and forecast floods during the Kharif season, said ISRO.

The project for India's heaviest microwave satellite is being directed by N Valarmathi. She is the second woman to be the satellite project director at ISRO, and the first to head a remote sensing satellite project.


This all-weather surveillance tool is sometimes referred in common parlance as a spy satellite
India already has another powerful spy satellite called RISAT-2 acquired from Israel and launched using the PSLV in 2009.

After a highly successful launch of the Agni V, India today successfully launched its own 'spy satellite' RISAT-1. It was powered by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota at 5.47 am this morning. Here are the top 10 facts on RISAT-1:


1. Weighing at 1528 Kg, RISAT-1 is the heaviest satellite ever launched by India.

2. It will be powered by a 321 tonnes rocket, the most powerful Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

3. This is the third time that ISRO is using a PSLV-XL (Extra Large) rocket. It was first used in October 2008 to put Chandrayaan-1 in orbit and again in July 2011 during the communication satellite GSAT-12 launch.


4. The indigenously made satellite has day and night viewing capacity and will not be blinded by cloud cover.

5. RISAT-1 will help in crop monitoring and flood forecasting. It will give India the ability for continuous surveillance.

6. The satellite carries a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, operating in a multi-polarisation and multi-resolution mode to provide images with coarse, fine and high spatial resolutions. It has a best resolution of up to 1 m

7. It has taken ISRO 10 years to make this sophisticated satellite. So far PSLV has consecutive 19 successful launches.

8. The total cost of mission is about Rs. 500 crores. While the cost of the rocket is about Rs. 120 crores, the satellite costs around Rs. 380 crores. However, none of them are insured.

9. The project Director N Valarmathi, is the first woman to head a remote sensing satellite project, and the second to be the satellite project director at ISRO.

10. Apart from RISAT-1, India already has another spy satellite RISAT-2 acquired from Israel which was launched in 2009.