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The importance of RISAT 1

Mumbai : April 26,2012

Backgrounder

 

RISAT-1 (short for Radar Imaging Satellite - 1) is the first of the RISAT series of Indian remote sensing satellites built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It uses a C-bandSynthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for all-weather earth observation. The previous Indian remote sensing satellites relied mainly on optical and infrared sensors.

The RISAT-1's SAR radar will be able to see through clouds and work in darkness, conditions that hamper optical satellites. Its images will be useful for a variety of applications, from crop forecasting and disaster management to addressing the country's strategic needs.

The features of RISAT include:
 160 x 4 Mbps data handling system
 50 Newton-meter-second reaction wheels
 SAR antenna deployment mechanism
 Phased array antenna with dual polarization

The satellite is equipped with an advanced ‘active phased array' antenna. Instead of a single device generating the microwave signals, the antenna has a large number of modules that collectively produce the radar beam. By suitably adjusting the signals generated by various modules, the beam can be electronically moved around. Even if a few modules fail, the satellite can continue to function albeit perhaps with some degradation in performance.

With RISAT-1, ISRO scientists and engineers have demonstrated their mastery of that difficult and closely guarded technology. If the satellite works as its creators hope, it will match and perhaps in some respects even surpass Canada's second-generation RADARSAT-2 that is now operational.


The satellite cost Rs 378 crore while PSLV cost Rs 110 crore. RISAT – 1 launch has put India in the elite club of US, Canada and countries in Europe.
 

Photo Courtesy : ISRO, Bangalore 

 
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