India successfully launches earth observation satellite EOS-01


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In News:

  • India has successfully launched its latest Earth Observation Satellite EOS-01 and nine customer satellites.
  • EOS-01 is a Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT).

News Summary:

  • India has successfully launched its latest earth observation satellite EOS-01 and nine customer satellites.
  • The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. For the PSLV, this was the 51st flight and only two of its launches have not been successful.
  • This is ISRO’s first mission in 2020 after the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic disturbed 10 missions planned by the agency.
  • The space agency had last launched a satellite in December last year, when ISRO had launched RISAT-2BR1, another earth observation satellite similar to EOS-01.

Customer satellites:

  • The nine foreign satellites, called the ‘customer’ satellites, have been launched under a commercial agreement with the NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).
  • NewSpace India Limited is the commercial arm of ISRO and comes under the Department of Space.
  • The customer satellites are from Lithuania (1), Luxembourg (4) and USA (4).

New rocket used in the launch of EOS-01:

  • For the launch of EOS-01, ISRO used a new variant of its PSLV rocket that has been flown only once before, in January last year.
  • This variant of PSLV does not become waste after depositing its satellite in the orbit.
  • Instead, the last stage of the rocket, that remains after the satellite is separated, can acquire its own orbit and can be used as a platform for other onboard instruments to perform experiments in space.
  • In effect, the last stage of the rocket acts like another satellite, with a life of about six months.

About: Earth observation satellites

  • Earth observation satellites are used for land and forest mapping and monitoring, mapping of resources like water or minerals or fishes, weather and climate observations, soil assessment and geospatial contour mapping.
  • Data from Earth-observation satellites are in great demand, both from government agencies, which need it for planning and infrastructure development, as well as private companies looking to execute infrastructure and other projects.

About: EOS-01

  • The EOS-01, is an earth observation satellite intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.
  • EOS-01 is a Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT), which was originally named RISAT-2BR2. It will work together with RISAT-2B and RISAT-2BR1 launched last year.
  • Radar imaging satellites are a type of earth observation satellites.

New naming system for earth observation satellites:

  • With EOS-01, ISRO is moving to a new naming system for its earth observation satellites which till now have been named thematically, according to the purpose they are meant for.
  • For example, the Cartosat series of satellites were meant to provide data for land topography and mapping, while the Oceansat satellites were meant for observations over sea.
  • Some INSAT-series, Resourcesat series, GISAT, Scatsat, and some more are all earth observation satellites, named differently for the jobs they are assigned to do, or the different instruments that they use to do their jobs.

About: Radar imaging

  • Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects.
  • It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, weather and terrain (land).
  • An advantage of radar imaging is that it is not affected by weather, cloud or fog, or the lack of sunlight.
  • It can produce high-quality images in all conditions and at all times.
  • Depending on the wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation used by the radar, different properties on land can be captured in the image.
  • For example, a low wavelength signal can capture tree cover or vegetation, while a higher wavelength signal can penetrate even dense tree cover to look at land under the tree cover.

Also Read: What is Solar Cycle 25, recently announced by NASA and NOAA scientists?

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