7 PM | PSLV-C45/EMISAT Mission | 2 April, 2019


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Context

PSLV-C45 has successfully injected the ISRO-made EMISAT in a 748-km orbit as well as 28 international satellites in a 504-km orbit

Key facts about ISRO PSLV-C45/EMISAT Mission

  1. Three different orbits: It was the first time ISRO launched a rocket that injected satellites in three different orbits. ISRO holds the world record for carrying the number of satellites on a single launch vehicle — 104 on PSLV C-37 in February 2017. However, so far, these satellites have been ejected in two different orbits at the most.
  2. Fourth stage of rocket: The fourth stage will not have the usual life of a satellite. However, ISRO gives some life to it and will function as a satellite itself for some time. The PSLV-C45 is the first launch vehicle to use solar panels in the fourth stage rocket (PS4). It can remain alive only for sometimes as it is not equipped with a lot of other things that enable a satellite to exist for longer duration in outer space, like a radiation shield.
  3. Four straps on Motors: Strap-ons are booster rockets attached externally to the main rocket, and provide additional thrust, or energy, by firing themselves midway during the flight. In earlier flights, ISRO has used two or six strap-on motors. The four extra-large strap-ons used this time reduced the overall weight while still delivering the power equivalent to six motors.
  4. Public – Private linkages: Nearly 95 per cent of the hardware for this mission was fabricated outside ISRO, that is industry. Nearly 60-70 per cent of the satellite components were fabricated outside ISRO.
  5. EMISAT: It is the first Electronic intelligence/surveillance satellite, EMISAT has been developed in India jointly by ISRO and Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
  6. Equipment of other research organisation: This is the first time ISRO provide a micro-gravity environment for research organisations and academic institutes to perform experiments.
The fourth stage are three scientific instruments made by three laboratories for three different applications
• an automatic identification system (AIS) developed by ISRO for maritime applications
• an automatic packet repeating system (APRS) developed by AMSAT or Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, India, to assist amateur radio operator and
• an Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) made by the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) for atmospheric studies.

 

What is EMISAT?

  • The EMISAT, stands for Electromagnetic Intelligence Satellite.
  • EMISAT, weighing 436 kg, is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement and will be placed in a low earth orbit of about 753 km altitude. High-elliptical orbit, give the satellite enough time for picking up signals from a specific area on the ground and recording them.
  • EMISAT is modelled after an Israeli spy satellite called SARAL (Satellite with ARgos and ALtika), according to a report.
  • ISRO’s main objective to launch EMISAT was to measure the electromagnetic spectrum and to read the location of radar emitters both ground and naval.
  • The Ka-band frequency that EMISAT is sensitive to allows it to scan through ice, rain, coastal zones, land masses, forests and wave heights relatively easily
  • EMISAT detects electronic signals on ground, especially hidden enemy radars.
  • It has been developed by DRDO (DLRL Hyderabad) under Project KAUTILYA.

 

Project KAUTILYA
• The Defence Ministry’s annual report of 2013-14 mentioned about Project Kautilya — for Space Borne ELINT System which involves the development of Electronic Intelligence payload for integration on an indigenous minisatellite.
• EMISAT is developed under this secret project.
• The project is named after the ancient Indian economist who emphasised the importance of spying for a king to protect his kingdom.

 

Significance of PSLV-C45/EMISAT Mission

  1. Demonstrate India’s growing space power: It demonstrated India’s capability to reuse the fourth-stage engines multiple times, and also showed that the guidance and navigation systems aboard the launch vehicle could be used for much longer times than in earlier missions.
  2. Space debris: The satellite will test the feasibility of a new way to clean up space debris, which is a growing nuisance with every successive launch.
  3. Use commercial space: The global commercial space market is an expanding one and India’s advantage with the PSLV gives it an edge when it comes to launching these nanosatellites.
  4. Boost India’s defence preparedness: EMISAT can be a valuable tool for India to carry out stealth air operations in enemy territory since the satellite can detect enemy radars. It can help Indian Air Force carry out operations similar to the Balakot surgical strikes with greater confidence.

Conclusion

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has achieved a new feat by launching the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C45. PSLV is emerged as a reliable and versatile launch vehicle for ISRO. In coming days ISRO is going to have PSLV C46 that is going to launch RISAT 2B, followed by PSLV C47 which is going to launch CARTOSAT-3 satellite. This gives further boost to India’s economy and defence preparedness


Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/pslv-isro-emisat-launch-from-sriharikota-on-april-1/article26699077.ece

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