India will launch in April a spy and surveillance satellite, Radar Imaging Satellite (Risat-1), which has a very high resolution imaging that can see through clouds and fogs.
A senior official of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), who wished to remain unnamed because of the organizational rules, has said that thorough tests were being done on Risat-1. The satellite is currently being put to thermal vacuum test to check its functioning in space environment.
The official added that Risat-1 is a complex microwave satellite being built for the first time in India and is expected to be launched in April. Though one of the major components, the synthetic aperture radar (SAR), was imported, the Risat-1, weighing at 1,850 kg, is the heaviest microwave satellite to be built by India.
The satellite is slated to be used for disaster prediction and agriculture forestry. The high resolution pictures and microwave imaging could also be used for defense purposes. The satellite will have all weather as well as day and night imaging capability and its synthetic aperture radar can acquire data at C-band.
In October, ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan said that the space agency would launch two satellites, Risat-1 and SARAL, before 2011-end. But that did not happen. He had said two more satellites - AstroSat and Aditya -would be launched in 2012 and 2013, according to a Hindustan Times report.