Bangalore: India is set to launch an indigenous satellite with the "unique" capability to capture images in all-weather conditions that will facilitate agriculture and disaster management, ISRO said today.
India currently depends on images from a Canadian
satellite as domestic remote sensing spacecraft cannot take
pictures of the ground during cloud cover.
After nearly 10 years of effort, Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) has developed -- with a lot of
participation from Indian industries -- a microwave satellite
that has the unique capability of imaging during day and night
and in all weather conditions, it said.
"This (Radar Imaging Satellite or RISAT-1) is about 1,850
kg. So, this will be heaviest satellite lifted by a PSLV
(Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle)," ISRO Chairman K
"It`s most likely to be launched on April 26 at 5.45 am,"
he said. "It has taken about 10 years of efforts in developing
The approved cost of RISAT-1, including its development,
is Rs 378 crore, while Rs 120 crore has been spent to build
the rocket (PSLV-C19), making it a Rs 498-crore mission.
RISAT-1 is a "complex satellite", Radhakrishnan said.
The satellite would be particularly useful in Kharif
season when cloud-covered atmosphere is frequent. Images taken
from the spacecraft of agricultural crops would enable
planners with regard to production estimation and forecast,
the space agency said.
During floods, aerial pictures would give a clear idea on
the affected region and water level. In addition, this
satellite can even "penetrate" the ground and throw light on
soil moisture up to a few centimeters, Radhakrishnan said.
RISAT-1 would be launched into a 536-km orbit by PSLV,
which is India`s workhorse rocket.
The satellite carries a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar
(SAR) payload, operating in a multi-polarisation and
multi-resolution mode to provide images with coarse, fine and
high spatial resolutions.
Radhakrishnan said ISRO had built two SARs in the past but
these had been flown on aircraft.