India has successfully launched a new satellite, capable of radar imaging, that will be used by the country’s military, according to RT.
The “Earth observation satellite” will use imaging that is capable of penetrating dense cloud cover and it is believed that the country will be using the technology primarily for border control.
The satellite is called the RISAT-2B, and it was launched early Wednesday morning from the space center on the Sriharikota island in south-eastern India.
The Times of India reported that around 15 minutes after lift-off, the four-stage rocket successfully placed the satellite in a 555km circular orbit. The mission is supposed to last for 5 years and the satellite is equipped with synthetic aperture X-band radar, which reportedly has “special imaging capabilities” and allows for “all-weather surveillance”, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The satellite also houses an Indian made Vikram processor for the first time. The processor will “become the workhorse for all computers in the future,” said Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre S Somanath. India’s Defense Minister Chowkidar Nirmala Sitharaman called the satellite the country’s “eyes in the sky above”.
— Chowkidar Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) May 22, 2019
The ISRO did not disclose photos of the satellite, since it will potentially be involved in military operations outside of monitoring the country’s borders.
Meanwhile, imaging continues to be an issue of public concern as tensions escalate near the disputed area of Kashmir. In February, the Indian Army did not provide images or video of its air raid into Pakistani territory that targeted an alleged terrorist camp run by the Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group.
Experts have predicted that thick cloud cover prevented current satellites from capturing the raid.
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