India puts RISAT-2B surveillance satellite into orbit
India on Wednesday successfully placed into orbit radar imaging earth observation satellite RISAT-2B, the third in the RISAT series -- after RISAT-2 and RISAT-1.
 
A total of about 5,000 visitors viewed the early morning launch from the viewers gallery here.
 
The new all-weather earth observation satellite with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) will send good clarity images for use in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the country's space agency.
 
The images captured by the satellite will also be used for surveillance purposes, though the ISRO is silent on this aspect.
 
At 5.30 a.m., the PSLV rocket standing around 44.4 metres tall and weighing about 190 ton with a one-way ticket hurtled itself towards the skies ferrying the 615 kg RISAT-2B.
 
With the fierce orange flame at its tail lighting up the morning skies, the rocket slowly gathered speed and went up and up enthralling the people at the rocket port while the rocket's engine noise like a rolling thunder added to the thrill.
 
About 15 minutes into the flight the rocket ejected RISAT-2B into about 555-km orbit.
 
Speaking about the successful satellite launch, K.Sivan, ISRO Chairman said: "I am extremely happy to announce that PSLV-C46 has successfully injected RISAT-2B in precise orbit."
 
He said with this mission, the PSLV rocket has crossed a landmark of lofting of 50 ton since it started flying.
 
According to Sivan, the PSLV rocket has so far put into orbit 354 satellites, including those by India, foreign countries and students.
 
The PSLV rocket is a major foreign exchange earner for Antrix Corporation -- the commercial arm of the ISRO.
 
The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel. In its normal configuration, the rocket will have six strap-on motors hugging it's first stage.
 
But the 44.4 metre tall PSLV rocket that lifted off with RISAT-2B on Wednesday was the 'core alone' variant -- without the strap-on motors.
 
The Indian space agency has PSLV variants with two and four strap-on motors and larger PSLV-XL.
 
Sivan said: "The rocket had a piggyback payload, the indigenously developed Vikram computer chip that will be used in future rockets."
 
The chip was developed by Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) Chandigarh and worked perfectly, he added.
 
According to the ISRO chairman, RISAT-2B is an advanced Earth Observation satellite with an advanced technology of 3.6 metre radial rib antenna.
 
He said ISRO's next major mission will be Chandrayaan-2 or the second moon mission, which is expected to take place between July 9 and 16 this year, with an expected Moon landing on September 6.
 
Following that will be the launch of a high-resolution cartography satellite and also the flying of ISRO's new rocket called the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).
 
Earlier a senior official, preferring anonymity, told IANS: "There is an increased demand for satellites from strategic sectors. About six/seven satellites are planned to be built."
 
The choice of the rocket to be used for a mission depends on the weight of the satellite and the orbit where the satellite has to be orbited.
 
The ISRO will be launching another radar imaging satellite RISAT-2BR1 and two more defence satellites some time in July or August with its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Coast Guard seizes Pakistani boat carrying heroin worth Rs 600 crore
In a major operation, the Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday chased and seized a Pakistani fishing vessel carrying 200 kg heroin, valued at a whopping Rs 600 crore, to be delivered to an Indian recipient, an official said.
 
Following a tip-off on Monday evening, the Coast Guard lay in wait for the Pakistani vessel, "Al Madina", seized it and detained its crew for interrogation, according to the Coast Guard's Additional Director General, Western Seaboard, K. Natarajan. 
 
The 13-member crew of an Indian fishing vessel which was in the vicinity to receive the contraband has also been arrested. 
 
Based on intelligence inputs from the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and other agencies that a Pakistani fishing boat was planning to deliver a huge narcotics consignment to an Indian fishing vessel, the Coast Guard were diverted ships to the location in the Arabian Sea off Jakhau in Kutch region of southwest Gujarat, bordering Pakistan.
 
Early on Tuesday, a Coast Guard ship intercepted the "Al Madina" which resorted to evasive manoeuvres in a bid to escape. While fleeing, the fishing vessel's crew also managed to jettison its illegal cargo of narcotics, but the Coast Guard ships managed to retrieve the bags containing the drugs later.
 
The Coast Guard ships continued to chase the ship and managed to apprehend it within Indian territorial waters despite encountering rough seas in the darkness.
 
Preliminary tests by the Coast Guard, through a drug testing kit, revealed the contraband was heroin, packed in some 195 packets weighing around 200 kg, Natarajan said.
 
The Pakistani vessel is being searched in detail and its crew being interrogated thoroughly for further investigations, details of which are awaited.
 
This is the second major success in an anti-narcotics operation on the high seas for the Coast Guard in the past two months.
 
Last March, the force and a team of the Anti-Terrorism Squad from Ahmedabad had jointly effected a seizure of 100 kg heroin, valued at Rs 300 crore, off the Gujarat coast, said Natarajan.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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DRI unravels global racket in drones smuggling
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Ahmedabad has busted, what it claims to be, an international racket involving smugglers from Pakistan, China, Myanmar and India teaming up to import high-end drones into Indian heartland through the northeastern border of India.
 
The DRI stated in a release on Thursday that its officials rounded up the alleged Ahmedabad-based mastermind of the racket and he has admitted the offences.
 
The agency said the racket had been going on since 2017 and thousands of drones valued at over Rs 10 crore and involving duty evasion of around Rs 3 crore have been smuggled into India.
 
The DRI has been able to intercept and seize 85 high-end drones of DJI Mavic, DJI Phantom and MI brands. Besides, 27 DJI Mavic Air Fly More Kit and 34 DJI Ronin S hand-held gimbal stabilizer for DSLR and mirrorless camera, smuggled from China, having a market value of more than Rs 1 crore, were also seized from the tempo van that was carrying the smuggled goods from Air Cargo Complex, Ahmedabad and from the shop of the allegedly involved person in Paldi area of Ahmedabad.
 
According to DRI, Pakistani-based firms placed an order for drones with Chinese firms. The drones were supplied by Chinese firms to a warehouse in Dehong, Yunnan located in South China and is close to the eastern border of Myanmar. From Dehong, the Myanmar smugglers were tasked to get them across China-Myanmar border into Myanmar.
 
After the drones reached Myanmar, they were transported hundreds of kilometres away to a place called Tamu in Mayanmar. From there, it was transported to India through Moreh and on to Imphal.
 
Different modes of transport were used to reach the drones till Imphal. And from Imphal, domestic airlines were used to get the drones to Ahmedabad. This was done by declaring the prohibited cargo as camera stand, household goods, electronic items and so on to elude detection by Indian agencies, the DRI release stated.
 
From Ahmedabad, it was couriered to different locations in India. The money was sent to the Ahmedabad-based "smuggler" by the Chinese company through hawala transaction operating from Mumbai.
 
According to the DRI, the illegal drones in private hands could be a threat to national security since they could be used for espionage and sabotage purposes by the enemy states and anti-national and terrorist groups.
 
Considering the security risk involved, equipment type approval from wireless planning and coordination wing of the department of telecommunication, import clearance from Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Directorate General of Foreign Trade import licence, DGCA unique identification number, among other things, are required for the import of drones into India, the DRI stated.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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COMMENTS

Veeresh

2 months ago

Please try and take a toy drone or similar as checked in baggage at most airports in India and be prepared to be called for secondary checks including full identity. Here it seems full cartons were going through?

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