In yet another momentous achievement for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the space body has successfully launched earth observation satellite RISAT-2B. The satellite would be instrumental and in enhancing India’s surveillance capabilities. The PSLV C-46 blasted off at 5:30 AM from the launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. 15 minutes after lift-off, RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B), which is meant for application in the fields of surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, was released into the orbit.
This satellite is going to replace RISAT-2 which was launched in 2009. RISAT-2B is going to be a big boost as far as India’s surveillance capabilities are concerned. The satellite is going to be equipped with synthetic aperture radar and is capable of taking pictures of the earth during day and night. It will also be able to take pictures during cloudy circumstances. This satellite will have a mission life of five years, ISRO sources have said that it would also be used for military surveillance. It must be noted that RISAT-2 had also been used extensively to monitor terror camps situated in Pakistan and to block infiltration bids. In fact, when RISAT-2 was launched, it was seen as a major achievement of India placing it in a group of limited nations possessing the capability to use satellite technology for passive military use. Ten years later, India has further improved its technological prowess and has launched an even more effective satellite greatly boosting its monitoring and surveillance capabilities.
This was the third launch in the ongoing year. The other two were PSLV-C45/EMISAT mission dated April 1, PSLV-C44 which placed the Microsat-R and the Kalamsat-V2 satellites in the orbit on January 24. The ISRO has therefore continued on its brilliant run even as India is witnessing an exponential increase in its space assets.
Shortly before the launch of the RISAT-2B Mission, ISRO chief, K Sivan stressed upon the importance of the mission and how it will boost India’s capabilities as far as combating terrorism is concerned. It will aid the security forces in tracking down terror hideouts near the border areas. Sivan said, “The rocket will take RISAT 2 BR 1 satellite into space. The satellite will focus on terrorists’ movements and their hideouts in the borders.” This is of great significance for India’s national security and the military forces operating near the borders. With improved surveillance technology and the ability to cut through cloud cover, RISAT-2B might just prove to be the game changer as far as eliminating cross-border terrorism is concerned.