A surgical strike is distinct from other ways of attacking an enemy because the mission should be completed with minimal collateral damage and casualties. In such cases, it is essential that the army receive highly detailed intelligence information. The Cartosat series is designed to provide such accurate information. Half a dozen satellites developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation were used to obtain ground information for this surgical strike carried out by Indian soldiers on terrorist camps in POK.
The satellite circles around Earth in 90 minutes and can produce images with a striking resolution of 0.65 metres. The Cartosat 2 series has a unique capability of capturing a 1-minute video, which despite its enormous speed of 37 km a second, is able to focus at a single point for a minute. In simple words it can count the number of cars in a parking lot from a distance of 562 km.
Apart from the Cartosat satellite, a 2000 kg satellite called GSAT-6 is used by the Indian Armed Forces. The GSAT- 6 is capable of streaming videos in both directions.
This satellite was developed last year for defence surveillance, network-centric warfare and navigation. If a soldier mounts a camera on his helmet, he can use a hand-held device, which is linked to the GSAT-6, to relay images/ information even while engaged in combat. According to reports, similar technology was used by the US to monitor live feed of Operation Geronimo, in which Osama Bin Laden was assassinated.
ISRO has more than 17,000 people working on products to improve the lives of Indians and protect the borders of our country. Its products are sold to many user agencies. The space agency has a formidable suit of technologies and all are suitably deployed with each user agency utilising the assets to their best advantage.
While such satellites are important during violent conflicts for providing Area of Interest (AoI) based information to the armed forces, they also find use in urban planning and spotting nefarious activities such as illegal mining.
Compared to this, Pakistan does not have an impressive space program and China’s best satellites also do not have such a good resolution.