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Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite

Published: 6th Dec, 2018

  • ISRO has successfully launched the PSLV-C43 mission that carried the HysIS and 30 foreign satellites as part of its payload.
  • This was the 45th launch flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.


  • ISRO has successfully launched the PSLV-C43 mission that carried the HysIS and 30 foreign satellites as part of its payload.
  • This was the 45th launch flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.


More on news

  • The PSLV-C43 mission carried a total payload of 641.5kg, comprising of 30 commercial satellites and the HysIS satellites (one micro and 29 nano satellites)
  • These satellites were from eight countries including US, Canada.
  • It carried 16 Earth observation satellites for Planet’s Dove constellation, plus spacecraft for GeoOptics, Canada’s Kepler Communications, Finland’s Reaktor Space Labs, Colombia’s Fuerza Aérea  Colombiana and the Netherlands’ Hiber Global.
  • Malaysia’s InnoSat-2 and Spain’s 3Cat-1 rounded out the list of secondary payloads.
  • It also carried first Earth observation satellite for Seattle (US)-based BlackSky’s Global constellation named as Global-1.

What is HysIS?

  • India’s first Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite or HysIS is a full-fledged niche Earth observation (EO) satellite.
  • It has an onboard optical imaging detector chip (Developed by Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad) which will enable it direct identification of objects on earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space.
  • With this chip, a satellite can identify 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above ground.

What is Hyperspectral Imaging?

  • It is the process of scanning and displaying an image within a section of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • To create an image that human eye can see, the energy levels of a target are color-coded and then mapped in layers.
  • This set of images provide specific information about the way an object transmits, reflects, or absorbs energy in various wavelengths.
  • Using this procedure, the unique spectral characteristics of an object can be revealed by plotting its energy levels at specific wavelengths on a line graph.
  • This creates a unique curve, or signature which reveals valuable information otherwise undetectable by the human eye, such as fingerprints or contamination of groundwater or food.

How is Hyperspectral better than Multispectral Imaging?

  • Multispectral imaging consists of just a few measurements, while hyperspectral imaging consists of hundreds to thousands of measurements for every pixel in the scene.

Did ISRO ever use Hyperspectral Imaging System before HysIS?

  • ISRO first tried it out in an 83-kg IMS-1 experimental satellite in May 2008. The same year, a hyperspectral camera was put on Chandrayaan-1 and used to map lunar mineral resources.

How will HysIS make its observations?

  • HysIS will make its observations by studying the effects of the Earth's surface under the visible, near infrared and far infrared bands of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Simply put, the imaging tools will help the HysIS satellite monitor atmospheric activity and climate change, while also assisting studies of Earth’s magnetic field.
  • This will help it track various events on the Earth, without disturbance from electric discharges from the upper atmosphere.
  • It will maintain a polar sun synchronous orbit, which will keep the satellite's position constant with respect to the Sun

What are the uses of HysIS? 

  • The earth observation satellite can be used for host of purposes such as agriculture, forestry, soil survey, geology, coastal zone studies, inland water studies, environmental monitoring, and pollution detection from industries etc.
  • It will provide a deeper understanding of climate change, weather phenomena, ocean currents and more.
  • It has an onboard optical imaging detector chip, which can do precise identification of any object. Therefore, it can be used for anti-terrorism operations, counter-insurgency and army surveillance.

                                                     latest missions of ISRO (till November, 2018)

    GSLV Mk III-D2/GSAT-29 Mission:

    • SLV MkIII-D2, the second developmental flight of GSLV MkIII successfully launched GSAT-29, a high throughput communication satellite in November, 2018 from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.
    • GSAT-29 satellite with a lift-off mass of 3423 kg, is a multi-beam, multiband communication satellite of India, configured around the ISRO’s enhanced I-3K bus. This is the heaviest satellite launched from India.
    • GSLV-Mk III which is three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage, is capable of launching 4 ton class of satellite to Geosynchronous Transfer orbit (GTO).
    • GSAT-29 carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders which will bridge the digital divide of users including those in Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern regions of India.
    • It also carries Q/V-band payload, configured for technology demonstration at higher frequency bands and Geo-stationary High Resolution Camera carried onboard GSAT-29 spacecraft.
    • An optical communication payload, for the first time, will be utilized for data transmission.

    PSLV-C42 Mission:

    • PSLV-C42 Successfully Launches two foreign satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota in September 2018.
    • This mission was designed to launch two earth observation satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4, M/s Surrey Satellite Technologies Limited (SSTL), United Kingdom under commercial arrangement with Antrix Corporation Limited, Department of Space.
    • NovaSAR is S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite intended for forest mapping, land use & ice cover monitoring, flood & disaster monitoring.
    • S1-4 is a high resolution Optical Earth Observation Satellite, used for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and for the disaster monitoring.


    • It was launched in April, 2018.
    • India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its forty-third flight (PSLV-C41) in XL configuration launched IRNSS-1I Satellite from First Launch Pad (FLP) of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
    • The IRNSS-1I is the eighth satellite to join the NavIC navigation satellite constellation.

    GSLV-F08/GSAT-6A Mission:

    • It was launched in March, 2018.
    • GSLV-F08 was the12th flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and Sixth flight with indigenous Cryogenic Stage.

    Cartosat-2 Series Satellite Mission:

    • PSLV-C40/Cartosat-2 Series Satellite Mission was launched in January 2018.
    India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its forty second flight (PSLV-C40), successfully launched the 710 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite for earth observation and 30 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 613 kg.

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