The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the earth observation satellite EOS-04 on 14 February 2022, along with two other satellites, on the PSLV-C52 mission. This is ISRO’s first launch of the year, and follows the failed launch of the EOS-03 satellite in August last year.

What

  1. The two other satellites were INS-2TD, a technology demonstrator from ISRO with a thermal imaging camera, and INSPIREsat-1, a student satellite developed by the Indian Institute of Space Technology (IIST) to study the ionosphere.
  2. The satellites were launched on the PSLV, from the first launch pad at Sriharikota. It was the 23rd flight of the PSLV in its XL configuration with six strap-on motors.
  3. Overall, it is the 54th flight of a PSLV rocket and the 80th launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

About EOS-04

  1. The EOS-04, formerly known as RISAT-1A, is a land-based earth observation satellite that images using radar.
  2. On 14 February 2022, it was inserted into a sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of 529 km from the surface.
  3. EOS-04 is the sixth satellite to be launched under the RISAT (Radar Imaging Satellite) programme in the last decade.
  4. Built at ISRO’s UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, EOS-04 carries synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can peer through all kinds of weather and clouds, during night time as well.
  5. Its data will complement the data from Resourcesat, Cartosat series, and RISAT-2B series, and will be collected in the C-band.
  6. It will be used in the fields of plantations, flood mapping, hydrology and more. The satellite weighs 1,710 kg and will function for at least 10 years.

About INS-2TD

  1. INS-2TD is a precursor to the India-Bhutan joint satellite, INS-2B, built by Bhutanese engineers who were trained at UR Rao Satellite Centre from 28 December 2020 to 25 February 2021.
  2. INS-2TD is a tech demonstrator carrying a thermal imaging camera. The satellite weighs 17.5 kg and has a mission life of six months.
  3. It will assess and monitor land temperature, surface temperature of water bodies like lakes and wetlands, delineation of vegetation of crops and forests, and thermal inertia or temperature variation between day and night times.

About INSPIREsat-1

  1. INSPIREsat-1 is developed by IIST in association with University of Colorado, US, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and National Central University, Taiwan.
  2. INSPIRE stands for the International Space Program in Research and Education, and was launched in 2017.
  3. The cubesat carries two scientific payloads, one each to study the earth’s ionosphere and to observe the solar flares.
  4. Contrary to what its name indicates, INSPIREsat-1 is the third satellite to be launched by the programme — INSPIREsat-2 and INSPIREsat-5 were launched by US giant SpaceX.
  5. Weighing 8.1 kg, INSPIREsat-1 is expected to function for a minimum of one year.