An intelligence satellite equipped with sensors to pick up conversations and detect espionage activities is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), according to a top defence scientist.

The satellite, fitted with electronic sensors, will be more powerful than ISRO’s remote sensing satellites, a Defence Electronics and Research Laboratory (DLRL) official told presspersons on Tuesday. The official added that the Rs. 100-crore satellite will be launched in a lower earth orbit by a polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV), most likely in 2014.

DLRL will also install “electronic warfare sensors” for surveillance on the Indian borders in mountains and desert areas, the scientist said at a press meet to announce the first international conference on electronic warfare (EWCI 2010). “The electronic warfare (EW) sensor will be located on the mountain range facing Pakistan, China, Nepal and the northeast, to detect troop or vehicular movement across the borders,” he said. The electronic warfare system will be developed jointly by the Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) and DLRL, while Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) will manufacture the radars. BEL Director (R & D) I.V. Sarma said that in the next decade, the business potential for BEL is expected to grow to Rs. 22,500 crore for the manufacturing of electronic warfare systems for the Indian armed forces.

Two-day event

The two-day EWCI 2010 that begins on Wednesday is the first conference of its kind. It aims to provide a forum to discuss technical aspects of electronic warfare. The conference is organised by DARE and DLRL (under the aegis of DRDO), in association with BEL. The conference will address current and future needs of the operational users, planners, developers, procurers, testers and trainers of the latest electronic warfare technologies and systems.

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