India Launches Satellite with SAR Capabilities
Several Indian news sources area reporting on the launch of India's RISAT-1, an earth observing satellite to monitor weather and crops. Launched Thursday by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the satellite carries on board a synthetic aperature radar (SAR) sensor.
According to the Daily Bhaskar,
RISAT-1, culmination of nearly ten years of effort by ISRO, has the capability to take images of the earth during day and night as well as in cloudy conditions. Till now, India depended on images from a Canadian satellite as existing domestic remote sensing spacecraft cannot take pictures of earth during cloud cover.
According to Asian Scientist Magazine,
Though ISRO officials maintain that the primary role of the nearly Rs. 500-crore mission is to help in the field of agriculture and paddy monitoring during the kharif season and provide data during natural disasters, speculation is rife that it has a military role too. This theory is triggered by the fact that it is equipped with the first India-made synthetic aperture radar (SAR).