Indian Spy in Space


The war with Pakistan and China taught India various things, India observed the need of different technological development after seeing the significance of modern equipment in the wartime. All of the time Indian Armed Forces fought the wars with very limited information in their hands and during 1971 war when India discovered the significance of spy satellite, when U.S. 7th fleet halt after getting warning that Russians have deployed their nuclear submarine in the support of India, India understand the importance of real-time information sharing.

Kargil wouldn’t happen if we have information and intelligence of Pakistani intentions, but the lessons are learned and Indians stepped towards gaining capabilities for information and intelligence operations. India’s premier space agency ISRO came forward with a plan to deploy a spy satellite to get the eye on any hostility against India, but we didn’t have such technological advancement by which we can develop the satellite.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed” quite a famous proverb, which becomes example of cooperation and friendship when Israel offered India it’s highly advance and updated version TecSar spacecraft which later become RISAT-1. RISAT-1 provides 1-meter night/all-weather imaging, it has 15-foot diameter dish radar antenna will be able to see through the thickest clouds and rain, snow or fog conditions during night or day to provide the Indian Army with 1-meter resolution images. It can also through camouflage like cloth or foliage used to conceal camps or vehicles.


U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin assessed the capabilities of RISAT-1 like this “Officials at Lockheed Martin tell Spaceflight Now that the satellite will give India a radar reconnaissance imaging capability comparable to the imaging radars carried by the most modern versions of the high-flying U-2 spy plane operated by the U.S. Air Force.”

Image by RISAT-1 during Tamil Nadu floods

RISAT-1 will be the true force multiplier for the Indian Armed Forces, ISRO is also looking forward to work on more projects which will increase the capabilities of India Armed Forces and allow them to take fast and swift moves to counter their enemy and keeping the nation safe.

RISAT -1 Image of malaysian flood inundaiton

The other masterpiece by ISRO in the edtion for land recon capbalities of the secruity sevices is CATROSAT-2, though CATROSAT_2 is not a dedicated spy satellite but a highly sophisticated imaging satellite which have  state-of-the-art panchromatic (PAN) camera that take black and white pictures of the earth in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The swath covered by these high resolution PAN cameras is 9.6 km and their spatial resolution is less than 1 metre. The satellite can be steered up to 45 degrees along as well as across the track.

CARTOSAT-2 is an advanced remote sensing satellite capable of providing scene-specific spot imagery. The data from the satellite will be used for detailed mapping and other cartographic applications at cadastral level, urban and rural infrastructure development and management, as well as applications in Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS).

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