ISRO Successfully Launches Earth Observation Satellite RISAT-2B
In a pre-dawn launch on Wednesday, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched successfully an earth observation satellite Radar Imaging Satellite-2B, that would enhance the country's surveillance capabilities among others.
As the 25-hour countdown which began on Tuesday concluded, ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) blasted off at 5:30 a.m. from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on its 48th mission, carrying the 615 kg satellite.
The RISAT-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.
Commenting on the RISAT-2B satellite launch, ISRO chairman K Sivan said that the PSLV-C46 successfully injected RISAT-2B precisely in the designated orbit of 555 km, with an inclination of 37 degrees.
"This particular mission for PSLV is a very, very important mission. With this launch, PSLV lofts 50 tonnes to space by launching 354 satellites, including national, student and foreign satellites," Sivan said.
According to the ISRO chairman, the PSLV-C46 carried two important piggyback payloads, an indigenously developed processor and a low-cost Inertial Navigation System. "It is going to revolutionise our future launch vehicle missions" he said.
The RISAT-2B is an advanced earth observation satellite. "In this satellite, another very complex new technology has flown. That is a 3.6 metre unfurlable radial rib antenna. This is also going to be the technology of the future," he said.
On future launches, Sivan said, "The next mission—Chandrayaan-2—is going to be a landmark mission for India. It is going to be the most complex mission ever undertaken by ISRO. It is going to take place between July 9 and July 16 this year."
The landing on the moon is expected to be on September 6. "It is going to land at a particular location where nobody has gone before." After Chandrayaan-2, "ISRO would look at launching the very high resolution CARTOSAT 3 satellite", Sivan said.
"A second demonstration of the reusable launch vehicle is going to happen in the coming months. Cost effective small satellite launch vehicle developments are also going to take place in a few months from now," he added.
The RISAT-2B launched on Wednesday would replace the RISAT-2, which was put into orbit in 2009.
The RISAT-2B is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night, and also under cloudy conditions. With a mission life of five years, the satellite would also be used for military surveillance, ISRO sources told PTI.
The RISAT-2 has been actively used by India to monitor activities in camps across the border in Pakistan to thwart infiltration bids by terrorists.
The PSLV-C46 was the 14th flight of the PSLV in its core-alone configuration sans the use of the solid strap-on motors. It was 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 ISRO’s third satellite 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.