RISAT-2BR1: India's newest 'eye in the sky' will boost nation's surveillance capabilities

Delhi Dec 10, 2019, 08.15 PM(IST) Written By: Ratan Shrivastava

ISRO Photograph:( Others )

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It will provide multi-spectral detailed images of earth's surface in 2D/3D and shall enhance the surveillance capabilities of the armed forces

After the successful launch of Cartosat 3 on November 27, ISRO is launching RISAT-2BR1 on Wednesday, an indigenous designed and developed, radar imaging, earth observation satellite, weighing 628kgs. RISAT-2BR1 will be placed in an orbit of 576 kms at an inclination of 37 degrees, from PSLV C48, (in its QL variant with 4 strap on motors). This is the landmark 50th mission of PSLV.  

RISAT-2BR1 is a part of the RISAT series of X Band all-weather, all-terrain earth observation satellites in 2D/3D, with defence grade sensors, the first of the series was RISAT, made by IAI, equipped with TecSAR, in X band and launched in April 2009 due to the Mumbai 26/11 incident in 2008. 

In May this year, ISRO had launched 615 kg RISAT-2B, on board the PSLV. The launch of RISAT-2B1 will be followed by another radar imaging satellite RISAT-2BR2. 

RISAT-2BR1, is an X-band SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) with radial rib reflector 3.6-metre mesh antenna. RISAT-2BR1 has a powerful 0.35m resolution, which means that two objects separated by 0.35m distance can be distinctly identified. 

It will provide multi-spectral detailed images of Earth's surface in 2D/3D and shall enhance the surveillance capabilities of the armed forces, for land and maritime border security.   

The orbit of RISAT-2BR1, which is an inclined 37 degrees to the equator, will allow for greater revisit rates on the area of interest in the Indian subcontinent. This elevation does not enable global surveillance. Rather, the satellite's gaze will be fixed on the Indian subcontinent. 

The X Band SAR enables the satellite to provide, continuous all-weather, all-terrain earth observation and imagery, cutting through the clouds and darkness, which is critical for surveillance and intelligence for the armed forces for prevention of any hostile activity including infiltrations and also provide inputs for the planning of strategic operations. 

Apart from defence applications, this satellite will also support agriculture, forestry, disaster management. 

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)