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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the country’s first electronic surveillance satellite, EMISAT, from Sriharikota in coastal Andhra Pradesh on Monday morning.

As many as 28 small satellites of international customers were also put in space as secondary riders.

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 the current land or aircraft-based ELINT, according to defence experts who did not wish to be named. ISRO, which is said to have built the satellite body for the DRDO payload, merely said the spacecraft would measure the electromagnetic spectrum. Once the last cubesat came out, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan announced: “Today PSLV-C45 has successfully injected the ISRO-made EMISAT in a 748-km orbit as well as 28 customer satellites in a 504-km orbit as sought by the customers.”

An ISRO release said that as EMISAT came out, “[Its] two solar arrays were deployed automatically. The ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.”

A new PSLV team executed the mission as the previous programme head R. Hutton has moved to the headquarters in Bengaluru as the director of the Human Space Flight Centre.


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