Isro will launch another 'eye in the sky' Risat-2BR1 on December 11, will help boost border surveillance

NEW DELHI: days after launching the highly advanced ground image Cartosat-3 satellite with military applications on November 27, (Isro) is preparing to launch the Risat-2BR1 radar image observation satellite with the help of the PSLV rocket -C48 from Sriharikota on December 11 to boost the country's space surveillance capacity.

In total, Isro plans to launch four to five Risat series advanced satellites, of which one was launched on May 22 of this year and the third (Risat-2BR2) after the launch of Risat-2BR1 in the second half of this month. At least four Risat satellites are required in space for security forces to maintain surveillance in a particular place on a daily basis, a source in Isro said.

The Risat satellite group, which can see through the clouds and also at night, will conduct border surveillance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and help control infiltration and monitor terror or anti-national activities through of the borders. The images from the previous version of Risat were previously used to plan the surgical attack on terrorist launching platforms in Pakistan occupied in 2016.

The surveillance satellite has a synthetic X-band (SAR) aperture with a 3.6 m mesh antenna radial rib reflector. “The radar system is a much more advanced version of the Israeli TECSAR 1 system. Risat-2BR1 has a powerful resolution of 0.35 m (two objects separated by a distance of 0.35 m can be clearly identified) and will cover a 5 to 10 km strip, ”said the source.

In addition to the Risat-2BR1 primary satellite, PSLV-C48 will also launch the QPS-SAR microsatellite developed by iQPS, a Japanese company, and four Lemur 2 CubeSats for the US Spire Global cloud space analysis and data company. Weighing around 615 kg, Risat-2BR1 has a useful life of five years and will be placed in the polar orbit at an altitude of about 560 km. In addition to its surveillance capabilities, the all-weather satellite with its SAR will send clear images for use in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.

Earlier on May 22, Isro had successfully launched Risat-2B, the same version of the surveillance satellite, which replaced the old Risat-2 after completing its five-year lifespan. After the launch of Risat-2BR1 on December 11, the agency will launch Risat-2BR2 in the second half of this month.

Meanwhile, the space agency aims to launch 13 missions: six rocket launches and seven satellite missions for March. In fact, 2020 will witness some major launches, including the launch of the mini-PSLV or launch vehicle (SSLV) recently developed in the country in the first quarter of next year. The L1 Aditya solar interplanetary mission will also be launched in the middle of next year.