India launched its third 'eye in the sky' — and has five more on the way

India launched its third 'eye in the sky' — and has five more on the way
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the RISAT-2B, India's newest 'eye in the sky', today morning from the SHAR Range in Sriharikota abraod the PSLV-C46ISRO

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched its third radar imaging earth observation satellite, RISAT 2-B into space today.
  • Over the past ten years, only two such satellites have been launched.
  • ISRO Chief, K Sivan, promises that within the coming year, India will see at least five more RISAT launches.
India just launched its newest ‘eye in the sky’ at 5:30am today morning. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief, K Sivan, confirmed that the rocket will take off as scheduled in the morning after which the space agency announced the successful placement of the RISAT-2B in orbit.

The RISAT-2B satellite will took off from the SHAR Range in Sriharikota — the same location used in April to launch India’s surveillance satellite, EMISAT.

India launched its third 'eye in the sky' — and has five more on the way
PSLV-C46 liftoff with the RISAT-2B onboard at 5:30am today morningISRO

This isn’t India’s first radar imaging earth observation satellite. It’s not even the second. It’s the third satellite in what ISRO promises to be multiple RISAT launches in the coming year. At least five, according to Sivan — a big step up from just two RISAT launches over the past ten years.


Big brother in the sky

India’s all-weather observation satellites, the RISATs, watch the India’s borders day and night. The aim is to help the Indian Army keep an eye on uninvited incursions along the border where human partol is difficult and monitor potential terrorist hideouts, and launch pads.

In fact, imaging from RISAT-1 and RISAT-2 were reportedly instrumental in the surgical strike that India carried out in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in 2016 and again, this year, during the Balakot ariel attack.

The need for more surveillance isn’t limited to India’s borders on land, but also extends to the seas. The growing presence of China in the Indian Ocean isn’t only a worrying factor for India but also for its neighbouring countries.

But, a RISAT satellite can track ships in the can giving India the opportunity to head off any threats.

Not just surveillance and reconnaissance

Since a 615-kilogram satellite can monitor the Earth — come rain, come shine — it’s also useful in situations of disaster management. Where ordinary cameras depend on light, RISAT’s active sensor, or SAR, can observe the Earth without clouds or bad weather getting in the way.

After the successful launch of the RISAT-2B, ISRO plans to launch the RISAT-2BR1, RISAT-2BR2, RISAT-1A and RISAT-2A satellites within the year. The first of these is expected in April, according to India’s apex space agency along with two other defence satellites.

See also:

India responds to China-Pakistan satellite launch with its own border surveillance satellites

India now has an intelligence satellite in space that will watch ‘enemy radars’

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