The Electronic Intelligence Satellite EMISAT that is capable of monitoring and tracking enemy radars was launched successfully by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday morning.
This came six days after Mission Shakti, during which an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile destroyed a live satellite.
The PSLV-C45 carrying the Electronic Intelligence Satellite EMISAT and 28 other satellites was launched at 9.27 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. EMISAT has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
ISRO had invited common people to witness the launch from a newly-constructed viewers’ gallery.
This was the 47th launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). In January this year, the PSLV-C44 had launched the KalamSat-V2 satellite made by Indian students.
Several Firsts In The Mission
For the first time, the PSLV had a three-orbit mission in a single flight.
The Electronic Intelligence Satellite EMISAT weighing 436 kg was injected into an orbit of 749 km.
The 28 foreign satellites were released after the vehicle came down to the 504 km orbit after firing its engines twice.
The fourth-stage of the flight is at the 485-km circular orbit.
ISRO gave details of the PSLV-C45 mission on Twitter.
🇮🇳 #ISROMissions 🇮🇳
A glance at today's #PSLVC45 mission.
Our updates will continue. pic.twitter.com/eHhkf8RYAS
— ISRO (@isro) April 1, 2019
Of the 28 customer satellites launched by PSLV-C45, 24 were from the United States of America (USA). Twenty of these were “Flock” Earth Observation satellites while four others were “Lemur” satellites with Vessel Automatic Identification System.
The other four satellites that were launched were from Lithuania (2), Spain and Switzerland.
In another first, the QL variant of the PSLV was flown with four strap-on motors. ISRO pointed out that the PSLV had flown with two, six, or without any strap-on motors in all its earlier flights.
Space Experiments To Be Carried Out
The fourth stage of the PSLV-C45 flight will be used as an orbital platform (at 485 km circular orbit) to conduct space-borne experiments. For this, the stage is equipped with three Indian payloads:
- Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT
- Automatic Identification System (AIS) of ISRO
- Advanced Retarding Potential Analyzer for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), APRS is a digital repeater for amateur radio applications. This will help amateur radio operators in tracking and monitoring position data.
The AIS is meant for automatic identification of ships. It will function by capturing messages transmitted from ships and relaying them to ground stations.
Explaining the features of ARIS, the agency said that it was a plasma and electrostatic instrument meant for structural and compositional studies of the ionosphere.
For the first time, the PSLV fourth stage will have solar panels to generate electricity while in orbit.