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RISAT-2B Radial Rib Antenna deployed by ISRO

RISAT-2B launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C46 on Thursday will be used for surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support. ISRO deployed the 3.6 metre Radial Rib Antenna on RISAT-2B, a world class technology, on Thursday afternoon.

RISAT-2B Radial Rib Antenna deployed by ISRO
Screen grab of the video from the onboard camera showing the deployment of RISAT-2B.

The Radial Rib Antenna (RRA) of Radar Imaging Satellite-2B (RISAT-2B) was successfully unfurled and deployed in-orbit at 2:20 pm on Thursday by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C46. ISRO said the 3.6 metre Radial Rib Antenna is a world class technology.

It was folded and stowed during the PSLV-C46 launch on Thursday morning. The deployment of the RRA was completed in 7 minutes and 20 seconds.According to the ISRO, the development of the light-weight structure, hinge mechanism, design of newer mesh, actuators etc., were some of the challenges involved in the realisation of the RRA. "All such key technological elements require very high level of expertise in handling space based antenna system, excellent workmanship and building redundancy apart from managing its in-orbit deployment. The antenna was realised indigenously by ISRO team in a record time of 13 months," said the ISRO in a press release on Thursday.

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The space agency added that alternate import option would have taken in about 3-4 years. It added that the successful deployment of RRA in RISAT-2B also establishes the combination of all skills mastered by ISRO indigenously. RISAT-2B will further boost India's space-based surveillance capabilities. The PSLV lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at around 5:30 am.

RISAT-2B will replace RISAT-2 launched in 2009. The satellite will be used for surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support. The satellite has a mission life of five years and is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night, and also under cloudy conditions. It will also be used for military surveillance.