ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) is about to complete its 50 years of establishment and they are not stopping. The always advancing organization has announced the launch of RISAT – 2BR1 satellite on May 22 of 2019.
RISAT satellites were primarily built for weather surveillance but the recent attacks have led to modifications in the RISAT – 2BR1 resulting it in being the more advance version of the previous RISAT satellites. RISAT – 2BR1 is the 5th unit in the RISAT series with better observation and imaging capabilities. It weighs 300kg with a power of 750W.
RISAT – 2BR1 will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SHAR), Andhra Pradesh, which is ISRO’s primary spaceport. This launch will be performed by India’s very own PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). The station is also set to launch ISRO’s cartography satellite Catosat-3 among other small defence satellites.
The RISAT 1 was scheduled to launch to launch first but due to Mumbai attack, RISAT 2 was developed at a fast pace and was launched in 2009. The RISAT-1 was launched in 2012.
Along with weather surveillance and disaster management, RISAT – 2BR1 is all set to uplift the security of the India. This satellite can track Pakistan warships in Arabian sea and the Chinese naval vessels in Indian ocean along with other hostile ships. It is equipped with synthetic aperture (SAR) radar rather than the beam-scanning radar, which uses the motion of the antenna over a target area to provide finer resolution compared to the beam-scanning radar. The synthetic antenna aperture (SAR) is the distance SAR satellite travels over a target area to the time taken for the radar pulses to return to the antenna. High image resolution is typically achieved by high aperture, whether the aperture is physical or synthetic that is if the antenna is physically large or if its moving. With this SAR can generate high resolution images with smaller antenna.
RISAT- 2BR1 can also take pictures of a building or an object 2-3 times a day which will help the security forces of India to keep track of terrorists’ activities. As the satellite supports SAR, it will be able to penetrate clouds and zoom in till the extent of clear images within 1-2m distance.
While this advancement towards an India having a strong hold over the space is en-route, another mission announced by ISRO also contributes to it. It is said that on September 6th 2019, India is going to land on moon after the organization launches Chandrayaan 2, its second lunar mission in July. Earlier the RISAT – 2BR1 was rumoured to launch in July, but as we can see ISRO is bent on moving its mission at a higher pace.
Another feather on the hat for ISRO was its former chairman AS Kiran Kumar being presented with Chevalier de Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur, the France’s highest civilian award in accordance to his contribution to the India-France space cooperation.