Bangalore: After its successful unmanned moon mission Chandrayaan-I, Indian Space Research Organisation is poised to launch a “breakthrough” remote sensing satellite RISAT that can take pictures of earth during night and even see through clouds and fog.
Bangalore-headquartered ISRO is targeting a March last week date for launching the 1,780-kg Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) along with ANUSAT, a 35-kg micro-satellite designed by Chennai-based Anna University, on board the indigenously built Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota.
The remote sensing satellites launched previously by ISRO cannot carry out the operations of the type which can be undertaken by RISAT.
Indian space scientists see RISAT as a major milestone for the country as far as remote sensing satellites are concerned. RISAT mission would have a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, operating in a multi-polarisation and multi-resolution mode.
“So far, all satellites launched by ISRO are optical remote sensing satellites. But RISAT will have all other capabilities,” ISRO spokesperson S. Satish said.
“This will be a major breakthrough as far as remote sensing projects are concerned, especially during cloudy season or during flood season...this will be of great advantage”, Satish said.
Satish said ANUSAT will give a first-hand exposure to students in the university towards building a satellite.
SAR, being an active sensor, operating in the microwave range of electromagnetic spectrum, provides the target parameters such as dielectric constant, roughness, and geometry, and has the unique capability for day-night imaging, and imaging in all weather conditions including fog and haze, and also provide information on soil moisture.
SAR payload is based on an active phased array technology using transmit/receive modules, which would provide necessary electronic agility for achieving the multi-mode capability, providing spatial resolutions of three metres to 50 metres, and ten kms to 240 kms swath modes to cater to different applications.
ANUSAT mission’s main objective is to involve universities in building micro satellites as a means to promote and encourage intra-disciplinary technologies with ISRO’s help.
ANUSAT carries a digital store and forward payload for amateur communication. In addition, a number of technological payloads such as digital receiver and turbo coder, MEMS-based gyro and magnetic field sensor are planned to be flown on board. Structure, solar panels, chemical battery, sensors and actuators had been supplied by ISRO while payloads and other satellite subsystems were designed and fabricated at Anna University.