ISRO marshals forces towards RISAT-1 launch

BANGALORE: It’s business as usual for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The message amidst the mess, is to stay focused on immediate missions and not the madness orbiting them, th

Published: 02nd February 2012 06:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:48 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: It’s business as usual for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The message amidst the mess, is to stay focused on immediate missions and not the madness orbiting them, thanks to the Devas-Antrix row.

Warming up for a possible mid-March launch is PSLV-C19 carrying the Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-1).

Not cowed down by non-stop criticism and direct shelling by the scientific czars, ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan has made up his mind not to enter the boxing ring, at least for now. “Our onus is on the next launch. So many critical technologies are being readied,” Radhakrishnan told Express.

“We are putting everything in place towards this launch. We have our peers to whom we look forward. They advice us ahead of critical mission,” he said.

According to him, the PSLV-C19 will be the 21st launch of PSLV and in this mission, the ‘XL’ version of PSLV with six strap-on motors (PSOM-XL) is used. “These strap-ons are larger than the ones used in PSLV ‘standard’ version. The 44 m tall PSLV-C19 will have a lift-off mass of about 320 tonnne and will carry the RISAT-1 remote sensing satellite into orbit,” Radhakrishnan said.

The home-grown remote sensing satellite is capable of taking day and night images of Earth even under bad weather conditions. “It will be one launch to watch as the disaster-management capabilities of India will increase immensely. Outsmarting the cloud-cover to take images will be a significant achievement,” he added.

The microwave remote sensing RISAT-1 carries a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, operating at 5.35 GHz in multi-polarisation and multi-resolution mode (ScanSAR, Strip and Spot modes) to provide images with high spatial resolution. “The SAR payload is based on an active phased array technology using transmit/receive (TR) modules, which would provide necessary electronic agility for achieving the multi-mode capability, providing spatial resolutions of 1 m to 50 m and a swath of 10 to 240 km catering to multiple applications,” a source said.

The satellite weighs 1,851 kg and has power handling capacity of 4.8 kW. The RISAT-1 will be launched into a 476 km orbit.  “After three-axis attitude acquisition, the orbit will be raised to 536 km with 25 days repetitivity with an added advantage of 12 days inner cycle for CRS (Coarse Resolution ScanSAR) mode,” he said.

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