ISRO Scientist's Startup Sisir Radar To Make SAR Radars that Can Be Attached to Drones

Kolkata-based Sisir Radar Private Limited (Sisir) is a space technology startup co-founded by Tapan Misra, who is a retired Indian scientist and former director of Space Applications Centre- ISRO. Sisir Radar will make synthetic aperture radars (SAR) that can be fixed on drones for imaging smaller land areas. 

For uninitiated, Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) refers to a technique for producing fine-resolution images from a resolution-limited radar system. SAR is a form of radar that is used to create two-dimensional images or three-dimensional re-constructions of objects, such as landscapes. 

Sisir Radar, which has raised initial funds from angel investors, has got its name in memory of late Indian physicist Sisir K Mitra, who is known for his work in radio & wireless science and also a crater on the Moon is named after him.

Tapan Misra

Notably, Tapan Misra, who is co-founder & CTO of Sisir Radar, has even got a patent on his name. He has recently granted a patent, by the Patent Office of India, for developing a technology called the Spotlight Synthetic Aperture Radar  (SAR) system configuration. Misra has developed Spotlight SAR during his service tenure at ISRO. The patent office of India had awarded the patent certification to ISRO as the patentee and Misra as the inventor.

Sisir Radar Logo (credits -

Unlike satellites-based SARs, Drone-based SARs by Sisir Radar will fly at low-altitude giving clearer images at lesser costing involved. This drone-based imaging SAR preposition from Tapan Misra's startup comes at time when the central government has recently announced incentives of Rs.120 crore, under the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components manufacturer. 

Besides, in order to make drone technology affordable to the stakeholders of farming sector, the government recently started offering grants and subsidy for drone purchases within agriculture sector, making Sisir Radar more viable, cost effective and efficient for farming sector.

Apart from fitting SARs onto drones, Sisir Radar will also be launching a constellation of 32 SAR satellites based on new technology so that the cost of good satellite images come down drastically from $60 per sq km.

Sisir will use drone-based SAR to get clearer and accurate images of smaller land areas in a small landscape use cases such as to measure agricultural farms and crops, in order to assess crop damage and others. These  drone-fitted SARs can be used by state governments in the country.

It requires that the radar be moving in a straight line, either on an airplane or, as in the case of NISAR, orbiting in space.

In a statement to Indian Express, Tapan Misra, said - "Initially we are developing a drone-based SAR. It will be a very high-resolution SAR which can provide very clear pictures even from low altitudes. I do not think there is anyone who is offering a drone-based SAR, because in the low atmosphere there is a lot of disturbance that interferes with the quality of the image. Usually, SARs are mounted on moving platforms like a reconnaissance aircraft or on satellites."

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