EOS-01 : Earth Observation Satellite | UPSC

EOS-01 : Earth Observation Satellite | UPSC


India successfully launches earth observation satellite

      WHY IN NEWS:

 EOS-01This is ISRO’s first mission in 2020, amidst the pandemic

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Space


For PRELIMS it is important to go through the previous flights , features , applications etc.

For MAINS go through the applications of earth observation satellites and its significance . Let us dive in !



  • India successfully launched its latest earth observation satellite EOS-01.
  • It nine international customer spacecraft on board a Polar rocket from the spaceport.

It is the first mission this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown disturbed 10 missions planned by the agency.
  • This is ISRO’s first mission since the launch of RISAT-2BR1, another earth observation satellite similar to EOS-01, on December 11 last year.


  • India’s PSLV, in its fifty first flight (PSLV-C49) was successfully launched ; EOS-01 PSLV-C49 .
  • It is the 2nd flight of PSLV in ‘DL’ configuration with 2 solid strap-on motors.

Earth observation satellite EOS-01 as well as nine customer satellites precisely into 575 km orbit

  • The satellite has four stages and  44.5-metre tall PSLV-C49 is shown in the image below:

EOS-01 : Earth Observation Satellite | UPSC

PSLV successfully launches EOS-01 and nine customer satellites from Sriharikota | ISRO’s Satellite EOS-01 | UPSC


  • PSLV-C49 lifted-off at 1511 Hrs (IST) from the First Launch Pad of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota .
  • After 15 minutes and 20 seconds, EOS-01 was successfully injected into its orbit.

Subsequent to the successful launch, the primary satellite commenced operating its own functions, including deployment of solar panels.

  • ISRO Chairman K. Sivan described the mission as a “success” and termed it “unusual” for ISRO as a rocket launch cannot happen like “work from home” !
  • All engineers and technicians had to travel from different centres and work together at Sriharikota for rocket launches.



  • Land and forest mapping and monitoring.
  • Mapping of resources like water or minerals or fishes.
  • Weather and climate observations
  • Soil assessment
  • Geospatial contour mapping.


  • EOS-01, and its sister RISATs, use X-band radars that operate at low wavelengths.
  • They are considered best for monitoring of urban landscape and imaging of agricultural or forest land.

According to ISRO, EOS-01 is intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.

  • The radar images are also considered to be immensely useful for military requirements.


  • EOS-01 is nothing but another Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) that will work together with RISAT-2B and RISAT-2BR1 launched last year.
  • EOS-01 was initially named RISAT-2BR2.

It was supposed to be the third of the three-spacecraft constellation aimed at providing all-weather round-the-clock service for high-resolution images.

  • With EOS-01, ISRO is moving to a new naming system for its earth observation satellites which till now have been named thematically, according to the purpose they are meant for.

The Cartosat series of satellites were meant to provide data for land topography and mapping, while the Oceansat satellites were meant for observations over sea.

  • Some INSAT-series, Resourcesat series, GISAT, Scatsat, and some more are all earth observation satellites.


  • The nine customer satellites from Lithuania (1), Luxembourg (4) and USA (4) were launched under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL). 

EOS-01 : Earth Observation Satellite | UPSC


  • For the launch of EOS-01, ISRO used a new variant of its PSLV rocket that has been flown only once before last year.
  • In January Last year , ISRO had placed the Microsat-R satellite in orbit.
  • This Microsat-R was the one that was brought down in March last year .

India’s first anti-satellite test, A demonstration of its capability showed to hit an in-orbit enemy satellite in space.

  • This variant of PSLV does not become waste after depositing its satellite in the orbit.

The last stage of the rocket, the one that remains after the satellite is separated, can acquire its own orbit

  • This can be used as an orbital platform for other onboard instruments to perform experiments in space.
  • In effect, the fourth stage acts like another satellite, with a life span of about six months.
  • For the PSLV, this was the 51st flight. Only two of its launches have not been successful.


  • EOS-01, like its cousins RISAT-2B and RISAT-2BR1, uses synthetic aperture radars to produce high-resolution images of the land.

One big advantage that radar imaging has over optical instruments is that it is unaffected by weather, cloud or fog, or the lack of sunlight.

  • It can produce high-quality images in all conditions and at all times.
  • Depending on the wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation used by the radar, different properties on land can be captured in the image.

A low wavelength signal can capture tree cover or vegetation, while a higher wavelength signal can penetrate even dense tree cover to look at the contours of land beneath.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • ISRO had planned more than 20 satellite launches in the fiscal year 2020-21.

This included high profile missions like Aditya L1, the first exploratory mission to Sun, and unmanned Gaganyaan, the precursor to India’s first manned space flight.

  • In view of the pandemic, ISRO implemented precautions for COVID-19, and scientists, Mission Directors maintaining social distancing at the Mission Control Centre.
  • There was no gathering of media persons and the public viewing gallery too was closed.
  • ISRO made arrangements for the live telecast of the launch through various platforms, including its website and social media sites.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | EOS-01 : Earth Observation Satellite | UPSC



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