The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch its first indigenous radar imaging satellite this month. Satellite named RISAT-1 has the unique capability of capturing imagesduring day and night as well as in all weather conditions. According to reports, the ISRO will launch the satellite on April 20.
The launch of RISAT-1 was delayed by at least two months following the controversies related to former space scientists over their alleged role in the Antrix-Devas deal.
India had successfully launched RISAT-2, which it purchased from Israel for $110 million, on April 20, 2009. "April 20 is a lucky day for us", an ISRO official said, referring to back-to-back failed launches of GSLV, one with Russian engine and another with homegrown one. RISAT-1, weighs around 1850 kg, is scheduled for launch by ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C19 (XL)) into a 536km orbit.
RISAT-2 is currently used exclusively for defence purposes such as keeping an eye on the borders and neighbourhood. It is capable of tracing metallic objects as well.
"The RISAT-1 will be useful for monitoring of agriculture and water resources management, among other applications", said the ISRO official, who also noted that this satellite would not be used for defence applications like RISAT-2.
RISAT-1 comes with C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload and operates in a multi-polarisation and multi-resolution mode, giving fine and high resolution images .