All India Radio (AIR) IAS UPSC – Launching of EMISAT – A Boost to Space Technology

  • IASbaba
  • April 29, 2019
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All India Radio
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Launching of EMISAT – A Boost to Space Technology


Search 12th March, 2019 Public Speak here: http://www.newsonair.com/Main_Audio_Bulletins_Search.aspx

TOPIC: General studies 3

  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

The Launch

  • EMISAT and 29 other commercial satellites have been launched to orbit onboard the polar rocket PSLV-C45.
  • This is a first-of-its-kind mission for the space agency as it tried to put the satellites in three different orbits in one single satellite launch mission.
  • Following the success of this mission, ISRO is eyeing orbital experiments, including on maritime satellite applications.


  • A very powerful electronic intelligence/surveillance satellite which has been developed in India jointly by ISRO and Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) under Project KAUTILYA.
  • To measure the electromagnetic spectrum and to read the location of radar emitters both ground and naval – This capacity will help India in surgical warfare which is supposed to have become a permanent option for India to check Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

EMISAT is modelled after an Israeli spy satellite called SARAL (Satellite with ARgos and ALtika), according to a report. The main capability of EMISAT is in signal intelligence — intercepting signals broadcast by communication systems, radars, and other electronic systems on the ground from hundreds of kilometers away in space. 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

The unique features

  • First, it was the first time ISRO launched a rocket that injected satellites in three different orbits.
  • Second, the fourth and last stage of the rocket will function as a satellite itself for some time, instead of being rendered junk after ejecting its payloads. The fourth stage is what remains of the rocket after most of it is discarded — in three stages — during the flight to reduce weight, after running out of the propellant they carry.

Significance of the achievement

  • Reaching three different orbits gives ISRO a new technological edge. It demonstrated its 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.
  • In practical terms, it will help ISRO pack its future rockets with multiple satellites even if they require to be placed in very diverse but precise orbits. Currently, this could be done only in multiple missions.
  • The foreign satellites include a majority from the US, and the rest are from Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland and goes to show India as an attractive destination when it comes to launching satellites. 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.
  • Also, it is a reconnaissance intelligence satellite meant to keep a watch on and provide location inputs on enemy radar sites deep in the enemy territory, a function that was done by using electronic warfare planes until now.

Project Kautilya — For Space Borne ELINT System which involves the development of Electronic Intelligence payload for integration on an indigenous minisatellite. The ELINT includes recordings and analysis of intercepted signals and helps create an RF signature of a radar which can, in turn, be used for locating and quickly identify the radar in subsequent encounters. The project is named after the ancient Indian economist who emphasised the importance of spying for a king to protect his kingdom.

Connecting the Dots:

  1. Space is considered to be the fourth frontier. Any effort to weaponise it would pose serious security threats to the world as whole. Do you agree? Examine India’s preparedness to tackle such threats.

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