INDIA LAUNCHES EMISAT INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING SATELLITE
02, Apr 2019
Prelims level : Science & Technology (Space Technology) Mains level : Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life achievements of Indians in Science & Technology.
Why in News:
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the country’s first electronic surveillance satellite, EMISAT along with 28 small third party satellites from Sriharikota in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
- The primary payload, EMISAT, is a 436-kilogram (961-pound) satellite to be operated by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
- EMISAT is based around the Indian Mini Satellite 2 (IMS-2) bus with solar panels providing 800 watts of power for the spacecraft.
- Its mission is officially stated as “electromagnetic spectrum measurement”.
- It is understood that EMISAT will be used for Electronic Signals Intelligence (ELINT).
- The satellite likely carries Kautilya, an ELINT package that India has been developing since at least 2014.
- EMISAT will operate in a circular sun-synchronous polar orbit, at an altitude of 749 kilometres (465 miles, 404 nautical miles) and an inclination of 98.4 degrees.
- Along with EMISAT twenty-eight smaller satellites were also put into space as secondary riders. These have all been built to CubeSat specifications.
- The CubeSat standard has become ubiquitous for small satellites and has played a significant role in their increased popularity in recent years. A single-unit CubeSat has a cubic shape with sides of ten centimetres (3.9 inches) – with larger satellites’ sizes based around multiples of this unit: for example, three-unit CubeSat measures ten centimetres along two axes and 30 centimetres (11.8 inches) along the third.