Prelims level : Science & Technology Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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GS 3 : Science & Technology – Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology

Why in News:

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) placed RISAT-2B, an X-band microwave Earth observation satellite, into orbit 556 km above earth.


  • Data from the satellite would be vital for the Armed Forces, agriculture forecasters and disaster relief agencies. The new satellite “will enhance India’s all-weather [space-based] capabilities in agriculture, forestry and disaster management,”
  • Dr. Sivan described RISAT-2B as “an advanced Earth Observation satellite with an advanced technology of 3.6-metre radial rib [unfurlable] antenna”.
    After the satellite separated from the launcher, its solar arrays deployed automatically.
  • “ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru took control of the satellite. Dr. Sivan, who is also Secretary, Department of Space, announced that the Chandrayaan-2 lander-rover mission would be launched between July 9-16.
  • The PSLV-C46 launcher carried the 615-kg RISAT-2B,about 15 minutes later, the satellite reached its designated position and started orbiting in space, with an inclination of 37°.
  • Designed at ISRO’s U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bengaluru and fast-tracked in just 15 months, the RISAT-2B is built to operate for at least five years.
  • Its X-band synthetic aperture radar can give added details such as the size of objects on earth, structures and movement.
  • Information from RISAT-2B will complement data from normal optical remote sensing satellites. Such data are useful for agencies that need ground images during cloud, rain and in the dark. This is the third Indian RISAT in 10 years, and follows the Israeli-built RISAT-2 in 2009 and the ISRO-built RISAT-1 in 2012. The older RISATs have reached the end of their lives.
  • ISRO has planned a series of radar imagers in the coming months to enhance its space- based observation of Earth and the Indian region.

What is the significance?

  • RISAT-2B adds to India’s capability to observe the earth
    in all weathers and all conditions.
  • The civil and military purposes, include –
  • crop monitoring during the monsoon season
  • forestry mapping for forest fires and deforestation
  • flood mapping as part of the national disaster management programme
  • Given that overcast skies are a constant during monsoon season and times of flood, the ability to penetrate the cloud cover is essential.
  • RISAT-2B images will not obstructed by clouds.
  • Services of such satellites are in great demand from national security agencies as well.
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