The Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday launched RISAT-2B, an earth observation satellite, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The satellite was launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C46 at 5.30 am from the first launch pad of the space centre.

The 615-kg satellite will enhance India’s surveillance capabilities and will be useful for agriculture, forestry and disaster management, the space body said. RISAT is an acronym for Radar Imaging Satellite. It entered its orbit around 15 minutes after take-off.

Earlier, ISRO Chairman K Sivan had said that the mission is a “very, very important” one for India, PTI reported. “It is an excellent satellite with hi-fi earth observation [capabilities],” he had said.

The satellite has a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night, and also under cloudy conditions, according to PTI.

This was the third satellite launch by ISRO this year, after one involving Microsat-R and Kalamsat on January 24 and another that launched EMISAT on April 1.