One year of SISIR Radar: Redefining SAR Technology on drones and in space

Tapan Misra

We incorporated SISIR Radar on 22nd September, 2021, on the day of autumnal equinox, at the height of razing second wave of Covid pandemic. We embraced a hope in the environment of all pervading hopelessness, anxiety and uncertainty. We waited till we were confident that the pandemic has webbed and India was demonstrating her innate confidence on her civilisational resilience to rise like Sphinx.

We actually started a semblance of operation when we three founders moved from Ahmedabad to Kolkata with a skeletal staff of admin, finance, HR , IT and media, cobbled together in Ahmedabad, each branch being manned by one person. We had no address. So our home in Kolkata became our residence cum office. It took another three months to manage an address, being blessed by good Samaritan investors and recruitment of initial technical team. I must say that Kolkata embraced us whole heartedly and support started pouring in from unexpected quarters of Government, friends and well wishers. Today we are 27+ strong company, with a few products on trial and the most promising product in the very near horizon.

Many people have asked me: “How does it feel to change sides of the table, from being a distinguished scientist in Government set up to being one of the founders of a Deep Tech start up”? Actually I feel no difference. In ISRO we always competed with ourselves. That is why we redefined the standard of spaceborne SAR by introducing hybrid polarimetry thereby democratising polarimetry itself, building the first spaceborne SAR in C band with resolution better than 0.7 m, introducing the first ever sliding spotlight mode SAR imaging, breaking the record of standard spotsize by a factor of 40 times in terms of area coverage. We redefined the partnership of nascent industries to our space programme through RISAT experiment. We built India’s first climate quality sensor, Scatteroneter which redefined tracking and monitoring of cyclones, hurricanes all over the world, saving innumerable lives and livestocks and pushing the cyclone news from the first page to the last page of news media.

We are following the same philosophy in SISIR Radar. We are re-defining SAR technology itself both on drones and in space. We firmly believe when you compete with others, you make yourself a clone. But when you compete with yourself, you excel, innovate and navigate through uncharted territory. As long as we put our hearts in the pursuit of our dreams, success will be our co-traveller. As the celebrated author Paul Coelho observed, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” This prophesy rings in our ears as SISIR Radar has metamorphosed over a short period to a vibrant company, destined to leave a mark in the future.

The author, Tapan Misra, is a distinguished scientist. He was Director Space Applications Centre and is recognised globally as father of Indian SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radars)


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