The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the RISAT-2B radar imaging earth observation satellite abroad a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket on May 22.
The PSLV rocket lifted-off at 05:30 Hrs (IST) from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. About 15 minutes and 30 seconds after lift-off, RISAT-2B was injected into an orbit of 556 km at an inclination of 37 degrees to the equator. After separation, solar arrays of RISAT-2B were deployed automatically and ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.
The mission, named PSLV-C46, was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and the 36th launch from the First Launch Pad. In this mission, the ‘Core-Alone’ configuration of PSLV was flown (without the use of solid strap-on motors).
RISAT-2B with a lift-off mass of 615 kg, is a radar imaging earth observation satellite. Equipped with an X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), RISAT-2B will be able to look through the clouds to observe Earth’s surface day and night.
According to ISRO, the satellite is intended to provide services to Agriculture, Forestry, and Disaster Management domains. But the satellite is primarily expected to be used for strategic surveillance purposes.
ISRO Chairman Dr. K Sivan congratulated the launch vehicle and satellite teams involved in the mission. “With this launch, PSLV lofts 50 tonnes to space by launching 354 satellites, including national, student and foreign satellites.”
Dr. K Sivan also commended the efforts of the team involved in the realization of the piggyback payload carried onboard this mission namely, Vikram processor and low-cost MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) developed by Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), Chandigarh and ISRO Inertial Systems Unit, Thiruvananthapuram respectively. He also quoted “RISAT-2B is an advanced Earth Observation satellite with the advanced technology of 3.6m radial rib antenna”
ISRO is now gearing up for the launch of Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLV MkIII during the window of July 09, to July 16, 2019, with an expected Moon landing on September 06, 2019.