PSLV-C-12 successfully Placed RISAT & ANUSAT
In its fifteenth mission carried out from Satish
Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota (April 20, 2009), ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C12) successfully placed
two satellites - RISAT-2 and ANUSAT - in the desired orbit.
RISAT-2 is a Radar Imaging Satellite with the capability to take images of the earth during day and night as well as cloudy conditions. At the time of launch, RISAT-2 weighed about 300 kg and was realised by ISRO in association with Israel Aerospace Industries. The satellite was placed in an orbit of 550 km height with an inclination of 41 deg to the equator and an orbital period of about 90 minutes. This satellite will enhance ISRO’s capability for earth observation, especially during floods, cyclones, landslides and in disaster management in a more effective way.
This is the first time the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is putting in orbit a RISAT in the micro-wave band. It can take images of the earth day and night, see through clouds and identify objects on the ground.
RISAT for surveillance ?
The 300-kg RISAT-2 has been
procured from Israel. Anusat, built by Anna University, Chennai, was also put in orbit by the PSLV-C12.
It is an experimental communication satellite meant for storing and relaying information.
Asked whether the RISAT-2’s synthetic aperture radar operating in the X-band meant that it would be used for defence applications, ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair said, “There is nothing like a spy satellite in our agenda. We have only earth observation, communication and scientific satellites.”
The RISAT-2 could precisely look at water bodies and vegetation. Its images would have wide ramifications in managing disasters such as cyclones, floods and landslips.
It would also be “a powerful tool” in estimating the paddy acreage.
However, informed sources said the RISAT-2 would be used for surveillance purposes and its images would be used for identifying arms caches and bunkers.
The Successful Work Horse
The entire launch was flawless. With this successful launch, the versatility and the reliability of PSLV has been proved again underscoring its importance as the workhorse launch vehicle of India. Today’s launch was the fourteenth consecutive success for PSLV. In these launches, PSLV has placed a total of sixteen Indian satellites and sixteen foreign satellites into Polar, Geosynchronous Transfer and Low Earth Orbits. It may be recalled that during its previous mission on October 22, 2008, PSLV had successfully launched Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which is now exploring the moon from lunar orbit.