Is India using Israeli spy satellite for high resolution installation images from Pakistan?
ISLAMABAD - Indian satellites that could have provided high resolution imagery from Balakot are the RADARSATS, Cartosats, Microsat-R, HySIS and even the geo-stationary satellite that looks constantly over India .
India 's best bet, the RISAT-1 that had day and night viewing capability, however, had imploded in orbit in September 2016 before dying in 2017.
A replacement is on its way later this year.
But according to sources, RISAT-2, a nimble Israeli spy satellite that India launched in 2009 continues to function and should have been able to provide high resolution images of Balakot.
There is also a large fleet of eight ultra-high resolution imaging satellites called Cartosats which can image objects of less than a meter in length. These eyes-in-the-sky map the world every day and can even lock on to a target to provide high-resolution videos.
As recently as January 24, 2019, ISRO launched Microsat-R, a satellite for "defence research" at a 277 km altitude, which should be able to provide images of the best resolution since it flies at half the altitude of the Planet Labs' Dove constellation.
No other details were released on the 740 kg satellite. This is possibly the lowest orbit on which ISRO has an Indian satellite.
In addition, on November 29, 2018, ISRO launched the HySIS satellite or the Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite, a tiny 380 kg "hawk's eye in the sky".
It can take images so sharp that it can distinguish "if structures are made of aluminium or other metals", the space agency had said.
While these images remain locked away in computers at the National Technical Research Organisation, it is open season for politicians making claims of terrorist casualties.