India Launches ‘All-Weather’ Satellite

Posted April 26th, 2012 at 4:00 pm (UTC-5)
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India has successfully launched an advanced “all-weather” satellite that can “see” detailed images of the Earth, even at night and in cloudy conditions.

The head of the Indian Space Research Organization, K. Radhakrishnan, described the launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, as a victory for India.

He said the satellite, called RISAT-1 and weighing nearly two tons, uses advanced radar-imaging technology to monitor the Earth in all weather conditions by bouncing microwave signals off the planet's surface. Indian researchers say the satellite sensor will be able to obtain clear images no matter what is happening below.

In addition to images, RISAT-1 is also capable of gathering data on cloud temperatures, cloud speeds, and the level of air humidity.

Those capabilities are especially important for India, where yearly monsoon seasons often make it difficult to capture useful satellite images.