Mission typeRadar imaging
OperatorIndian Air Force
COSPAR ID2009-019A[1]
SATCAT no.34807
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass300 kilograms (660 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date20 April 2009, 01:15 (2009-04-20UTC01:15Z) UTC
RocketPSLV-CA C12
Launch siteSatish Dhawan SLP
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Perigee altitude422 kilometres (262 mi)
Apogee altitude434 kilometres (270 mi)
Inclination41.21 degrees
Period93.00 minutes
Epoch2 January 2014, 23:31:52 UTC

RISAT-2, or Radar Imaging Satellite 2 was an Indian radar reconnaissance satellite that was part of India's RISAT programme. It was built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and successfully launched aboard a PSLV-CA rocket at 01:15 GMT on April 20, 2009 from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.[2]

RISAT-2's main sensor was an X-band synthetic aperture radar from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).[3] It is designed to monitor India's borders and as part of anti-infiltration and anti-terrorist operations.[4] The satellite has a mass of 300 kilograms (660 lb).

Technical capabilities

RISAT-2 was India's first satellite with a synthetic aperture radar. It possess day-night as well as all-weather monitoring capability. Potential applications include tracking hostile ships at sea that are deemed a military threat to India.[5]

Though ISRO sought to underplay the satellite's defence applications in its announcements, a substantial number of articles concerning RISAT-2 in the Indian media continue to refer to it as a "spy satellite".[6] This is also supported by the fact that its Israeli sensor is clearly pronounced a military grade sensor by its manufacturer IAI.[citation needed]


RISAT-2 was built at an accelerated pace following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, due to Indian army but however due to delay with the indigenously developed C band for RISAT-1. It is India's first dedicated reconnaissance satellite.[7]

The X-band SAR used by RISAT-2 was obtained from Israel in return for launch services for the Israeli TecSAR satellite. The SAR sensor enables RISAT-2 to return images at any time of day and in all weather conditions.

ISRO scientists spent tense hours on April 19, 2009 prior to launch as one of the umbilical cords holding the PSLV-CA rocket to the launch pad fell off, damaging nearly six connectors.[8] The ANUSAT student microsatellite was launched aboard the same rocket as a secondary payload.

RISAT-2 was used to search for and eventually locate wreckage of the helicopter crash that claimed the life of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister of the State of Andhra Pradesh, as well as the lives of his fellow passengers, while traveling over dense jungles in southern India on Sep 2, 2009.[9]

See also


  1. ^ NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive
  2. ^ "ISRO to launch second 'spy' satellite RISAT-2BR1 on December 11 to enhance India's surveillance capability". Moneycontrol. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  3. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "ANUSAT". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  4. ^ "India to launch spy satellite on April 20". The Times Of India. April 8, 2009.
  5. ^ "India's spy in the sky: ISRO launches RISAT-2". CNN-IBN. April 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
  6. ^ "India launches key spy satellite". BBC. April 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
  7. ^ "The difference between Risat-1 and Risat-2". ASM. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  8. ^ "RISAT-2 not a spy satellite: ISRO chief". The Times Of India. Archived from the original on April 23, 2009.
  9. ^ "RISAT to search for YSR". The Hindu. Chennai, India. September 2, 2009.