What is RISABT-2B? - Seeker's Thoughts

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What is RISABT-2B?

RISAT-2B will enhance India’s monitoring capabilities for civil and military purposes. The satellite could be used for civil and strategic purposes.

What is RISAT-2B?

RISAT – 2B is and earth observation satellite.  Earlier the RISAT 1, and RISAT 2 were launched by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). the RISAT-1 satellite that was launched by ISRO in April 2012.

RISAT-2B will be replacing the RISAT-2 and will be on a five years mission. It is India’s first such earth-observation satellite with indigenous technology having such complexities. If it delivers across the fronts it is expected to, India can further consolidate its position in the club of the space-elite.

How is RISAT- 2B different from earlier RISATs?

RISAT-2B will not rely on visible light for imaging, therefore clouds will not impact upon the remote sensing. RISAT-2B will use microwave radiation, as microwaves have longer wavelength and is not susceptible to atmospheric scattering. Microwave radiation can easily pass through the cloud cover, haze and dust.
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RISAT-2B satellite will be able to image under almost all weather and environmental conditions. Since it does not rely on visible light for imaging, it will be able to image the ground during both day and night.

The satellite does not have passive microwave sensors that detect the radiation naturally emitted by the atmosphere or reflected by objects on the ground.

RISAT-2B will be transmitting hundreds of microwave pulses each second towards the ground and receiving the signals reflected by the objects using radar.

The moisture and texture of the object will determine the strength of the microwave signal that gets reflected.

While the strength of the reflected signal will help determine different targets, the time between the transmitted and reflected signals will help determine the distance to the object.

What are the benefits of RISAT-2B?

There are different benefits of an earth observation satellite.    India will reap a raft of benefits in diverse areas, from agriculture and forestry to security and disaster management.

1.    The Use in Agriculture

In agriculture, specifically, where the world is moving towards real-time observation for early detection of crop failure, India needs eyes in space. As experts have pointed out, calculation of crop insurance under the central government scheme can become more accurate and payment to farmers faster if satellite-based imagery is used.

Similarly, real-time monitoring of forest cover loss, poaching, illegal mining in resource rich areas can also help India tackle these losses.

2.    The Military Use

There is a military utility to the satellite RISAB- 2B. Therefore, it can be used for enhanced surveillance and checking cross-border infiltration.

One of the greatest features of the RISAT-2B is that it can carry on its observation functions even in poor weather, generating images from the ground, the potential it has for other areas is far too great to play second fiddle to its surveillance potential.

3.    The Disaster Management

One of the strongest potentials lies in disaster management. If, for instance, the satellite is able to detect loss of mangrove cover or map flood-hit areas for faster relief delivery, the lives of millions of vulnerable Indians can be made better.

Given that overcast skies are a constant during the monsoon season and during times of flood, the ability to penetrate the cloud cover is essential,

The Technological Specification of RISAT-2B

The RISAT-2B satellite uses X-band synthetic aperture radar for the first time; the synthetic aperture radar was developed indigenously. Unlike the C-band that was used by RISAT-1, the shorter wavelength of the X-band allows for higher resolution imagery for target identification and discrimination.

Since it has high resolution, the satellite will be able to detect objects with dimensions of as little as a meter. This capacity to study small objects and also movement could be useful for surveillance.

RISAT-2B will have an inclined orbit of 37 degrees, which will allow more frequent observations over the Indian subcontinent. With ISRO planning to launch four more such radar imaging satellites in a year, its ability to monitor crops and floods as well as engage in military surveillance will be greatly enhanced.

Note- India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) today successfully launched RISAT-2B satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre(SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. This was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and 36th launch from the First Launch pad.

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