NamesRadar Imaging Satellite-2
Mission typeRadar imaging
(Reconnaissance and disaster management)
OperatorIndian Air Force
COSPAR ID2009-019A [1]
SATCAT no.34807
Mission durationPlanned: 5 years
Final: 13 years, 6 months and 9 days
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerISRO (satellite)
IAI (SAR radar)
Launch mass300 kg (660 lb)
Power750 watts
Start of mission
Launch date20 April 2009, 01:15:00 UTC[2]
RocketPSLV-CA (PSLV-C12)
Launch siteSatish Dhawan, SLP
ContractorIndian Space Research Organisation
End of mission
Decay date30 October 2022, 00:06 UTC[3][4]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[2]
RegimeSun-synchronous orbit
Altitude548 km (341 mi)
Period90.0 minutes

RISAT-2, or Radar Imaging Satellite-2 was an Indian radar imaging reconnaissance satellite that was part of India's RISAT programme. It was built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and successfully launched aboard a PSLV-CA launch vehicle at 01:15:00 UTC on 20 April 2009 from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.[5]

The principal sensor of RISAT-2 was an X-band synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).[6] It is designed to monitor India's borders and as part of anti-infiltration and anti-terrorist operations.[7] The satellite has a mass of 300 kg (660 lb).


RISAT-2 was built at an accelerated pace following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, due to delay with the indigenously developed C-band for RISAT-1. It is India's first dedicated reconnaissance satellite.[8]

The X-band SAR used by RISAT-2 was obtained from Israel in return for launch services for the Israeli TecSAR-1 satellite. The SAR sensor enables RISAT-2 to return images at any time of day and in all weather conditions.

Technical capabilities

RISAT-2 was India's first satellite with a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR). It possess day-night as well as all-weather monitoring capability. Potential applications include tracking hostile ships at sea that are deemed a military threat to India.[9]

Though ISRO sought to underplay the satellite's defence applications in its announcements, a substantial number of articles concerning RISAT-2 in the Indian media continue to refer to it as a "spy satellite".[10] This is also supported by the fact that its Israeli sensor is clearly pronounced a military grade sensor by its manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).[citation needed]


ISRO scientists spent tense hours on 19 April 2009 prior to launch as one of the umbilical cords holding the PSLV-CA launch vehicle to the launch pad fell off, damaging nearly six connectors.[11]

ANUSAT satellite

The ANUSAT student microsatellite (40 kg) was launched aboard the same launch vehicle as a secondary payload.


RISAT-2 was used to search for and eventually locate wreckage of the helicopter crash that claimed the life of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, chief minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh, as well as the lives of his fellow passengers, while traveling over dense jungles in southern India on 2 September 2009.[12] The satellite reentered over Sumatra on 30 October 2022 at 00:06 UTC[4][3] after providing payload data for 13 years.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ "Display: RISAT-2 2009-019A". 27 April 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b "RISAT-2 (Radar Imaging Satellite-2)". ESA Earth Observation Portal. 9 May 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Tracking and Impact Prediction (TIP) Message: RISAT-2". Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  4. ^ a b Jonathan McDowell [@planet4589] (31 October 2022). "India's RISAT-2 radar satellite, launched in 2009, reentered at 0006 UTC Oct 30 off the south coast of Sumatra" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "ISRO to launch second "spy" satellite RISAT-2BR1 on 11 December 2019 to enhance India's surveillance capability". moneycontrol.com. 3 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  6. ^ "RISAT 2". Gunter's Space Page. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  7. ^ "India to launch spy satellite on April 20". The Times of India. 8 April 2009. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012.
  8. ^ "The difference between Risat-1 and Risat-2". ASM. Archived from the original on 30 March 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  9. ^ "India's spy in the sky: ISRO launches RISAT-2". IBN. 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  10. ^ "India launches key spy satellite". BBC. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  11. ^ "RISAT-2 not a spy satellite: ISRO chief". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009.
  12. ^ "RISAT-2 to search for YSR". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2 September 2009.
  13. ^ "Department of Space, Annual Report 2017-2018" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 February 2018. RISAT-2 has enhanced the country's capability in the disaster management support activities. The satellite has completed 8 years in orbit and still providing imaging services.
  14. ^ "Atmospheric Re-entry of RISAT-2". www.isro.gov.in. Retrieved 3 November 2022.