ISRO's EMISAT spy satellite: From head to toe, all you need to know

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ISRO lifted off PSLV-C45 carrying EMISAT spy satellite to space
ISRO lifted off PSLV-C45 carrying EMISAT spy satellite to space

New Delhi : ISRO has successfully launched it Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C45) carrying EMISAT and 28 international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR in Sriharikota. The take-off marked the first mission of PSLV-QL, a new variant of PSLV with four strap-on motors.

PSLV was lifted off on April 1 at 9:27 Hrs (IST) from the Second Launch Pad and injected India’s EMISAT into a 748 km sun-synchronous polar orbit, 17 minutes and 12 seconds after lift-off.  After successful separation, the two solar arrays of EMISAT were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.

After the separation of EMISAT from PSLV, the vehicle’s fourth stage engines were restarted twice to place the 28 international customer satellites precisely into a sun-synchronous orbit of 504 km height. The last customer satellite was placed into its designated orbit 1 hour and 55 minutes after lift-off. About 3 hours after lift-off, the fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle was moved to a lower circular orbit of 485 km after two restarts to establish it as an orbital platform for carrying out experiments with its three payloads.

What is EMISAT spy satellite?

EMISAT is a satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 bus weighing about 436 kg. The satellite is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement. It is a very powerful electronic intelligence/surveillance satellite which has been developed in India jointly by ISRO and Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

ISRO's spy satellite will intercept signals not only on the ground and at high-resolution from space but also for the Indian Navy. It weighs about 436 kg and is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement. It will be placed in an orbit of about 753 km altitude

So far, India's PSLV has launched 46 national satellites, 10 satellites built by students from Indian Universities and 297 international customer satellites, including the satellites launched today.  

In its next ISRO mission is the launch of PSLV-C46 which will carry RISAT-2B in May 2019.