ISRO places three satellites in orbit in first launch of 2022
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its earth observation satellite EOS-4 and two co-passenger technology demonstrator and scientific satellites from the first launch pad at the country’s only spaceport in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
- The launch starts a busy calendar for the Indian space agency, which has lined up as many as 19 launches this year, after two years of lull caused by the Covid19 pandemic.
About EOS-04 satellite
- It is the fourth in a series of earth observation satellites that are being launched under a new generic name.
- The 1,700 kg EOS-04 is a radar imaging satellite capable of providing high-quality images under all weather conditions.
- The satellite has a mission life of 10 years.
- Like EOS-01, EOS-04 will be placed in a sun synchronous polar orbit of 529 km, is a radar-imaging satellite which would have made it a part of the RISAT series earlier.
- In fact, it would replace the RISAT-1 which was launched in 2012 but has been non-functional for the last few years.
- RISATs use synthetic aperture radars to produce high-resolution images of the land.
- One big advantage that radar imaging has over optical instruments is that it is unaffected by weather, cloud or fog, or the lack of sunlight.
- It can produce high-quality images in all conditions and at all times, making it suitable for surveillance.
- ISRO said that the EOS-04 was designed to provide high-quality images for applications such as agriculture, forestry and plantations, flood mapping, soil moisture and hydrology.
- It will complement the data from Resourcesat, Cartosat and RISAT-2B series of satellites that are already in orbit.
New naming system
- Two years ago, ISRO had moved to a new naming system for its earth observation satellites which till then had been named thematically, according to the purpose they were meant for.
- The Cartosat series of satellites were meant to provide data for land topography and mapping, while the Oceansat satellites were meant for observations over sea.
- Some INSAT-series, Resourcesat series, GISAT, Scatsat, and a few other earth observation satellites were named differently for the specific jobs they were assigned to do, or the different instruments that they.
- All these would now become part of the new EOS series of satellites.
- Land and forest mapping and monitoring, mapping of resources like water or minerals or fishes, weather and climate observations, soil assessment, and geospatial contour mapping are done through these satellites.
- However, only the first of these newly named satellites, EOS-01, launched in November 2020, is in orbit right now.
- EOS-02, a micro-satellite to be flown on a new launch vehicle called SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle) is yet to be launched, while launch of EOS-03 had ended in a failure in August last year.
Other satellites launched
- It is a student satellite developed by the Thiruvananthapuram-based Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in collaboration with the University of Colorado in the United States where it was assembled and tested.
- Students from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and National Central University of Taiwan have also contributed.
- This satellite will study the dynamics of the upper atmosphere and carries an X-ray spectrometer for studying solar flares.
- It is a technology demonstrator for the first India-Bhutan joint satellite that is scheduled to be launched next month.
- The two countries had signed a space agreement last year, and its first outcome would be the launch of BhutanSat, or INS-2B, on a PSLV rocket in March.
- The INS-2TD that will fly on Monday has a thermal imaging camera meant for earth observation purposes, like assessment of land and water surface temperature, and identification of forest and tree cover.
Indian satellites in space
- India currently has 53 operational satellites, of which 21 are earth observation ones and another 21 are communication-based.
- Eight are navigation satellites, while the remaining three are science satellites, according to information provided by the government in Parliament.
- Monday’s launch would be the 54th flight of the PSLV rocket, and the 23rd of its most powerful XL-version that has six strap-on boosters.