India successfully launches Radar Imaging Satellite

RISAT-1 undergoing tests.
Photo: ISRO

On 26 April 2012, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched their first indigenously built all-weather Radar Imaging satellite, RISAT-1. RISAT-1, weighing 1,858 kg and being the heaviest satellite launched yet by the carrier PSLV, is an Active Microwave Remote Sensing Satellite carrying a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that will operate in the C-band. This means that RISAT-1 can send imagery of earth's surface at day and night and under any weather conditions. Orbiting earth in 536 km height in a daily routine of 14 orbits with a repetitive cycle of 25 days, the satellite is a very valuable resource for space-based information for disaster response and disaster risk management. RISAT-1 has an expected mission life of five years. ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan called the launch a "grand success".