EMISAT: After Mission Shakti, new spy satellite becomes ISRO and DRDO’s second success in a week

EMISAT launch is also a first – where the lucky 1200 citizens of India were allowed to watch the launch from a special stadium which has a capacity of 5000 people.


By Ratan Shrivastava

ISRO, launched the PSLV C- 45, the 47th flight of the workhorse PSLV and the 1st Flight of the QL variant of PSLV with 4 Strap- Ons (4xPSOM-XL carrying a propellant mass of 4×12.2 tons). This was the most challenging and complex PSLV mission till date, with a three orbit mission in a single flight. PSLV C-45 successfully placed EMISAT in orbit at 753kms, thereafter reduce the orbit to 504 kms and successfully ejected and placed all 28 customer satellites, from USA (Flock 4A), Lithuania, Spain and Switzerland. The PS4 will work as an orbital platform and an orbital lab at an orbit of 485kms with 3 payloads including ExseedSat2 from AMSAT India and an Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser, from IISc. Such a complex mission, is aimed at optimizing the costs and get more bang for the buck.

This launch is also a first – where the lucky 1200 citizens of India were allowed to watch the launch from a special stadium which has a capacity of 5000 people. This is part of Dr K Sivan, Chairman ISRO, initiative of bringing Space technology closer to the common man, apart from his student outreach program.

EMISAT is Indian DRDO’s strategic satellite and marks a successful partnership of ISRO with DRDO. This is the second success for DRDO and ISRO combine, within a week, having successfully achieved #MissionShakti on 27th March, where India test-fired a sophisticated anti-satellite missile and destroyed an Indian satellite flying in its low-Earth orbit at 300 kilometers in 3 minutes, successfully demonstrating its capability based on complete indigenous technology. This successful space mission gave India the entry into the league of elite nations and the fourth country – to acquire such capability, till now held only with the three members of UN Security Council US, Russia and China. It also gave India the opportunity to play a role in the framing of future laws for outer space.
PSLV C-45 has achieved another milestone, in indigenous production, and #MakeInIndia ,with more than 90% of the hardware for the mission being sourced from Indian Industry domestically.

The majority of the components of EMISAT are also sourced from Indian Industry as its bus is based on Indian Mini Satellite bus structure. #EMISAT, weighs approx. 436 kgs and developed by DRDO (DLRL Hyderabad) under Project KAUTILYA. EMISAT is based on an IMS2 Bus (Indian Mini Satellite Bus series) which can have a maximum launch weight of 450Kgs with a payload no more than 200kgs. It shares the same Bus architecture as the HySIS satellite which was put into orbit last year in November by ISRO.

EMISAT is an ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) satellite, which means it should have a SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and can be used to intercept and analyse radar signals, to find the location, identification of the radars based on the Radio Frequency signatures, which in turn could help the country develop the jamming techniques to counter the radar. This will be a vital tool for India, when EMISAT along with the AWACS can effectively locate, tackle and silence enemy radars, and secure Indian airspace.

EMISAT is supposed to use the single frequency Ka-Band, which enables it to work as an all weather and all terrain conditions to scan through rain, forests, coastal zones, forests and beat the rain fade.

(The author is Advisor, Space Division, FICCI. Views expressed in the article are personal)

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