Satellite has radar imaging capable of seeing through thick clouds
A new Earth observation satellite featuring radar imaging, capable of seeing through thick clouds, has been successfully launched by India, according to reports.
New Delhi’s brand new low-orbit satellite, the RISAT-2B, was launched early on Wednesday morning from the space center on the Sriharikota island in south-eastern India.
The satellite is equipped with synthetic aperture X-band radar, and has “special imaging capabilities” as it allows all-weather surveillance, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan.
For the first time, the satellite is carrying an Indian-made Vikram processor.
The agency did not reveal any images of the satellite, suggesting it most likely to be used for military purposes.
It is understood that its enhanced radar imaging technology will allow the Indian army to keep track of activities on its borders.
India’s Defense Minister Chowkidar Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted that the brand-new optics are set to become “our eyes in the sky above,”
According to NDTV: The particular radar-enabled satellite has been placed at a low earth 557-kilometer orbit, a suitable level for detecting hostile installations as well as monitoring agriculture, forestry, and possible disaster zones.
— Chowkidar Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) May 22, 2019
The Indian Air Force (IAF) had sent Mirage 2000 fighter jets to strike a terror camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan territory, on the morning of February 26.
Some experts have speculated that heavy cloud cover at the time could have blinded Indian satellites, resulting in no images or videos of the operation being released so far.
The lack of “proof” even spurred some opposition leaders to question the actual impact of the air strike.
Now, with a new set of radar-enabled satellites at its disposal, the space agency hopes to provide India’s armed forces with the ability to keep track of activities across its eastern and western borders.
Although the country also has high-resolution optical imaging CartoSAT satellites, they get blinded by dense cloud cover.
Moreover, their imaging resolution was possibly not good enough to make an accurate damage assessment after the IAF strike in Balakot.