India’s New Earth-Observation Satellite with IAI Radar Technology Launched into Orbit

India’s space agency successfully launched a new Earth-observation satellite on May 21. Equipped with X-band radar imagers, RISAT-2B will monitor the Earth day and night, in any weather conditions, according to NASA Spaceflight.

The satellite launched on Tuesday was the first in a fleet of RISAT-2B satellites that will succeed India’s RISAT-2 spacecraft. The RISAT-2 was equipped with a TecSAR radar made by IAI’s ELTA Systems, and the new satellite’s radar is apparently based on the same technology and co-developed by IAI and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

Weighing 615 kilograms, the RISAT-2B satellite is about twice as heavy as RISAT-2, although like its predecessor it is designed to operate for at least five years. RISAT-2 has already surpassed this, having been in orbit since its launch in April 2009.