Monday, April 20, 2009

RISAT - ISRO's SAR satellite, launched

SRO today successfully launched its first all-weather radar imaging satellite, RISAT -2. The PSLV-C12 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), carrying 300-kg RISAT and 40-kg micro educational satellite ANUSAT (developed by Anna University) lifted off from ISRO's Satish Dhawan space Centre here at 6:45 am and placed into 550 km orbit around earth.

The PSLV, weighing 230 tonnes at the time of launch, soared into a clear sky from the spaceport in Sriharikota, about 90 km north of Chennai. At the end of the 48-hour countdown, the 44-metre tall four-stage PSLV-C12 blasted off from the second launch pad with the ignition of the core first stage.

RISAT has all-weather capability to take images of the Earth and would also be beneficial in mapping and managing natural disasters, such as floods and landslides, besides amplifying defence surveillance capabilities of the nation. It would also help keep track of ships at seat that could pose a threat.

A jubilant ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said "the year 2009 has started off well. The final moments of the launch were more thrilling than a cricket match as we hit a few boundaries and bowled some googlies." Nair said the performance of the PSLV-C12 launch vehicle was "precise and on the dot".

As per specifications, RISAT is different from previous remote sensing satellites as it uses Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), equipped with many antennas to receive signals that are processed into high-resolution pictures.


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