RISAT-2B to be launched on May 22 from Sriharikota

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  • RISAT-2B, the satellite due to be launched before dawn on May 22 from Sriharikota, will mark the resumption of a vital ring of Indian all-seeing radar imaging satellites after seven years.
  • At least a half-dozen could be foreseen in the near future, mainly to add to the reconnaissance capability from about 500 km in space. A constellation of such space-based radars means a comprehensive vigil over the country.


  • Many RISATs were planned. RISAT-2B is to be followed by RISAT-2BR1, 2BR2, RISAT-1A, 1B, 2A and so on.
  • If ISRO orbited its first two radar satellites in 2009 and 2012, it plans to deploy four or five of them in 2019 alone.
  • When it is cloudy or dark, ‘regular’ remote-sensing or optical imaging satellites — which work like a light-dependent camera — cannot perceive hidden or surreptitious objects on the ground.
  • Satellites that are equipped with an active sensor, the synthetic aperture radar (SAR), can sense or ‘observe’ Earth in a special way from space day and night, rain or cloud. This all-weather seeing feature is what makes them special for security forces and disaster relief agencies.
  • “Radar imaging satellites are at a premium in the Earth observation scene.
  • “Worldwide, quite a few of them are planned to be launched.
  • There is also a large availability of radar images data in the market.”
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