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ISRO to launch an unprecedented 10 earth imaging satellites

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    28th Feb, 2020

The country will send up an unusually large number of 10 earth observation (EO) satellites during 2020-21, according to the latest annual report of the Indian Space Research Organisation for 2019-20.


The country will send up an unusually large number of 10 earth observation (EO) satellites during 2020-21, according to the latest annual report of the Indian Space Research Organisation for 2019-20.


  • It includes new categories such as the first Geo Imaging Satellite, GISAT-1.
  • In comparison, only three communication satellites — which is another major category in space infrastructure — and two navigation satellites are planned for the coming financial year starting April.
  • The annual plan mentions 36 missions, another high for a year: these include both satellites and their launchers.
  • The high number also stands out amidst the immediate two years before and after the plan.
  • ISRO says 19 national EO satellites, 18 communication satellites and eight navigation satellites are in service, driving uses from broadcasting, telephony, Internet services, weather and agriculture-related forecasting, security, disaster-time rescue and relief and location-based services.
  • Three of the communication satellites are dedicated to military communication and networking.
  • The EO sats are ostensibly for benign uses such as land and agriculture watch.
  • But their images also have a very important use for the military, for keeping an eye on the borders.
  • The satellites such as RISATs, which carry synthetic aperture radar on them, provide all-weather, 24-hour information to security agencies.
  • The upcoming EO satellites include radar imaging satellites RISAT-2BR2, RISAT- 1A and 2A; Oceansat-3 and Resourcesat-3/3S.

10 earth observation (EO) satellites

  • GISAT-1: It is a Geo Imaging Satellite in Geostationary orbit with a high temporal resolution. is primarily meant for near real-time imaging of natural resources and disaster management.
  • RISAT-2BR2: It is a high agility X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar-based satellite. It will provide all-weather, day/night imaging services from space.
  • OCEANSAT-3: It will provide continuity of ocean colour data with improvements to continue and enhance operational services like potential fishery zone and primary productivity.
  • RISAT-1A and 2A: They will provide continuity of service for RISAT-1 and RISAT-2 respectively.
  • HRSAT: It will have a constellation of three satellites. Applications include large scale and cadastral level mapping, urban and rural planning, infrastructure development & monitoring, précising agriculture, disaster management, etc.
  • RESOURCESAT-3/3A: The mission is envisaged to provide continuity of data service on an operational basis in the area of Land and Water resources management.
  • RESOURCESAT-3S/3SA: These are planned to provide data services for earth resource monitoring with improved resolution and a wide swath.
  • INSAT-3DS: It is designed for enhanced meteorological observations, monitoring of land and ocean surfaces, generating a vertical profile of the atmosphere for weather forecasting and disaster warning.
  • Microsat-2A: It will meet demands for cartographic applications at cadastral level, urban and rural management, coastal land use and regulation, utility mapping, development and various other GIS applications.
  • NISAR: It is being jointly developed by NASA & ISRO. The primary mission goals are: Global coverage of the earth’s biomass, cryosphere, for surface dynamics and coastal studies over a period of 3-5 years, Systematic coverage of global environment with 12 days repeat the cycle.

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