India on 26 April 2012 launched it’s first indigenous all-weather Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-1). The satellite, whose images will facilitate agriculture and disaster management, was launched successfully on board the PSLV-C19 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the satellite took ten years to be functional. The newly launched satellite can capture images of the earth during day and night as well as in cloudy conditions. Thus far, India was dependent on a Canadian satellite for images as existing domestic remote sensing spacecraft are not able to capture images of earth during cloud cover. Besides use in the agriculture sector, RISAT-1 could also be used to keep round-the-clock vigil on the country's borders, but this satellite would not be used for defence applications as RISAT-2, primarily a spy spacecraft, is already doing that job.
RISAT-1 was launched using the state-of-the-art new Mission Control Centre for the first time after its inauguration by President Pratibha Patil in January 2012. ISRO used PSLV-XL, high-end version, only third such instance, for the launch of RISAT-1. The XL version was earlier used for Chandrayaan-1 and GSAT-12 missions.
The RISAT – 1 Launch is the 20th successive successful flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). India in April 2009 had launched an imported Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-2) with all weather capability. The satellite was bought from Israel for 110 million dollar largely for surveillance purposes.