The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the country’s first electronic surveillance satellite, EMISAT (Launch Vehicle – PSLV-C45), from Sriharikota in coastal Andhra Pradesh. As many as 28 small satellites of international customers were also put in space as secondary riders.
EMISAT is capable of gathering information of strategic value, in the electromagnetic spectrum. The foreign satellites include 24 from the US, two from Lithuania and one each from Spain and Switzerland.
Space-based electronic intelligence or ELINT from the 436-kg spacecraft will add teeth to situational awareness of the Armed Forces as it will provide location and information of hostile radars placed at the borders; this will be another dimension to current land or aircraft-based ELINT.
All the 28 customer satellites, totally weighing about 220 kgs, were released into around 504 km orbit, after the fourth stage was reignited and lowered in a complex operation lasting around two hours. Again, the fourth stage would be reignited and further lowered to 485 km orbit to serve as an orbital platform for carrying out space-borne experiments for the first time in ISRO’s history.