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Geostationary Imaging Satellite (GISAT)

India's 1999 Draft Nuclear Doctrine proposed the setting up of 'effective intelligence and early warning capabilities', to provide 'early warning, communications, damage/detonation assessment'. Pakistan too has hinted at matching Indian plans for putting in place early warning systems, but these remain no more than hints. Pursuing this policy, India started acquiring key components of such an early warning network, including the Green Pine radar from Israel. To make this defence shield really effective against China, India needed to put in place an early warning satellite system.

Early Warning Satellites are equipped with infrared detectors which can provide up to 30 minutes warning of an attack by ballistic missiles. During the Cold War America had three Defense Support Program teostationary early warning satellites. The central early warning satellite constellation in use today is SBIRS, the Space Based Infrared System. When it's completed in 2022 it will comprise six satellites.

The Soviets had early warning satellites in Molviya orbits. Complete coverage was obtained by a constellation of nine satellites which had shorter life spans than their US counterparts. On 17 November 2015 Russia successfully launched an early warning satellite for its newest early warning system, named EKS or Integrated Space System (Edinaya Kosmicheskaya Sistema). The satellite was officially named Kosmos 2510 (Tundra 11L). This new-generation satellite is designed to restore Moscow';s capability to detect, track and identify worldwide missile launches.

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F10) was to launch Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) from the Second Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. A 4 metre diameter Ogive shaped payload fairing is being flown for the first time in this GSLV flight. This is the fourteenth flight of the GSLV. The launch was scheduled at 1743 Hrs IST on March 05, 2020, subject to weather conditions.

The launch of GISAT-1 onboard GSLV-F10, planned for March 05, 2020, was postponed due to technical reasons. Revised launch date will be informed in due course, according to the press release issued by ISRO 04 March 2020. The launch of GISAT-1 satellite has been pushed further due to lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, sources said on April 7. It did not mention what the "technical reasons" were that led to the launch postponement and whether they had to do with the launch vehicle or the satellite. When contacted, the ISRO top brass did not come on the line at all. Those who came on the line declined to say anything. While one version alleged that it was U.S. pressure that made ISRO postpone the launch, a former top ISRO satellite-builder called it "nonsense."

One report added that "Two ISRO engineers said separately the launch was called off because the user-Departments were not ready to use the data that GISAT-1 would have started sending a few weeks after it was put into its initial GTO. One of them was blunt. "It was a spy satellite," he said. "The ground stations of the intelligence agencies, which would have used the images sent down by GISAT-1, were not ready. It will take another year and a half to get these ground stations ready. So the agencies felt a year and a half will be wasted if the launch took place on March 5," he added."

Weighing about 2275 kg, GISAT-1 is a state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite which will be placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit by GSLV-F10. Subsequently, the satellite will reach the final geostationary orbit of 36,000 km using its onboard propulsion system. Operating from geostationary orbit, GISAT-1 will facilitate near real time observation of the Indian sub continent, under cloud free condition, at frequent intervals.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) designed the GEO Imaging Satellite (GISAT). GISAT carries a GEO Imager with multi-spectral (visible, near infra-red and thermal), multi-resolution (50m to 1.5 km) imaging instruments. One overly enthusiastic report claimed " The camera's resolution is high, which means it can take pictures of even small objects on the earth. It can monitor the movement of people and animals across India's borders. It can keep a watch on the movement of vehicles on the roads in the Indian sub-continent and the vessels in the seas around it." Another such breathless report claimed "GISAT-1's camera's resolution was so high that it could take images of "metallic coins" lying on the road and with clarity... "

With the rapid development of new military technology, the ballistic missile has become a military power of the world. To carry out modern local war strives first for the offensive weapon. Ballistic missiles with great attack distance, have small target radar scattering and great flying speed.

However, a single sensor can only carry the information on a missile flight a certain stage. It is impossible to track ascent stage, staging or latter. The early warning of ballistic missile attack is a whole process, tracking and identification mission. The space-based early warning equipment includes early warning satellite and space-based radar, and the early warning satellite is used to observe the target in aerial and space.

The infrared visual simulation technology is mostly applied to the analysis of the infrared radiation characteristics of a sensitive target and the performance evaluation of an infrared detection system. In the real-time space-based infrared system, the earth background radiation intensity data includes surface infrared radiation intensity data, cloud layer infrared radiation intensity data, edge infrared radiation intensity data and starry sky infrared radiation intensity data.

The GEO Imaging Satellite (GISAT) is India's most powerful GEO earth observation satellite. GEO satellites stay above a fixed landmass thus providing continuous 27x7 surveillance of a geographic area. The area covered by the satellite will include entire Indian territory and surrounding region including Pakistan, western China, and portions of the Indian ocean. There will be two satellites in GISAT family. The remote sensing satellites launched by ISRO revisit the same area once in every 2 to 24 days and acquire images of a geographical strip (swath) at different spatial resolution (360 meter to better than 1 meter). GISAT will provide near real time pictures of large areas of the country, under cloud free conditions, at frequent intervals. That is, selected Sector-wise image every 5 minutes and entire Indian landmass image every 30 minutes at 50m spatial resolution.

The total financial outlay for the project is ` 392 crore excluding the launch cost. The amount spent up to March 2012 is ` 9.9 crore and BE provision of ` 50 crore is made for the year 2012-2013. As of 2013 GISAT was planned to be launched during 2016-17.

The present Indian geostationary satellite carries multichannel Imager and Sounder for meteorological applications. The channel configuration of these instruments is similar to GOES series of satellite. It was felt that these instruments specification need suitable modification/ augmentation to suit tropical Indian conditions to make improved weather observations for various applications. This chapter makes an attempt to use hyperspectral infrared observations to define optimum Sounding/Imaging instrument onboard Indian geostationary satellites.

The satellite instruments onboard geostationary platform play a very important role to provide continuous spectral radiance observations. This helps for better retrieval of wind fields which are obtained from tracking the displacement of clouds, water vapor in successive satellite images. Both wind fields and spectral radiances are assimilated into NWP models that provide the basis for weather forecast.

Presently two space agencies NASA/NOAA and EUMETSAT are operating geostationary satellites. Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) is planned aboard GOES of NOAA, Spinning Enhanced Visible Imager (SEVIRI) with 12-channel Imager is operational onboard Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite of EUMETSAT since 2007. SEVIRI observes the full disk image with a repeat cycle of 15 minutes as compared to the 3-channel with imaging repeat cycle of 30 minutes from the first generation Meteosat satellites. The primary objective of the MSG satellites is the continuous observation of the Earth’s full disk with a multi-spectral Imager with a repeat cycle of 15 minutes for observing rapidly changing atmospheric parameters. Thus enhancing the nowcasting capabilities from weather satellites.

GISAT will have hyperspectral imaging capability in the visible (VIS), near infrared (NIR) and shortwave infrared (SWIR) band besides imaging capability in the longwave infrared (LWIR) band (7 - 13.5 µm).

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Page last modified: 31-05-2020 20:46:48 ZULU