By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: It's business hours as usual for the Indian Space Research Oragnisation (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. “Our onus is on the next launch. So many critical technologies are being readied and I am moving forward in confidence. As I said earlier, only mission matters,” Radhakrishnan told Express.
“We are putting everything in place towards this launch. ISRO has a huge work culture that's inspiring. We have our peers to whom we look forward. They are our guiding lights. They advice us ahead of critical mission. All my team assemble in an auditorium to debate and question about various launch preparedness,” Radhakrishnan 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. This will be the third launch of the 'XL' version of PSLV. The 44-metre tall PSLV-C19 will have a lift-off mass of about 320 tonnne and it will carry the RISAT-1 remote sensing satellite into orbit,” Radhakrishnan said, in the company of his two trusted lieutenants.
The home-grown remote sensing satellite is capable of taking day and night images of Earth even under hostile 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, only a few nations can boast of. We are delighted about the prospects of this launch,” Radhakrishnan said.
The microwave remote sensing RISAT-1 carries a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, operating at 5.35 GHz in multi-polarization and multi-resolution mode (ScanSAR, Strip and Spot modes) to provide images with coarse, fine and high spatial resolutions respectively.
“The SAR, being an active radar sensor, operating in the microwave region of electromagnetic spectrum, has the unique capability of imaging in all weather conditions. 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 one m to 50 m, and a swath of 10 to 240 km catering to multiple applications,” said an aide along with Radhakrishnan, who preferred not to be quoted.
The satellite weighs around 1851 kg and has the 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.
(Copyright@The New Indian Express)