Friday, July 24, 2009

Indian Remote Sensing Satellite System

Indian has the largest constellation of Remote Sensing Satellites, which are providing services both at the national and global levels. From the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellites, data is available in a variety of spatial resolutions starting from 360 meters and highest resolution being 2.5 meters. Besides, the state-of-the-art cameras of IRS spacecraft take the pictures of the Earth in several spectral bands. In future, ISRO intends to launch IRS spacecraft with better spatial resolution and capable of imaging day and night. The satellites of IRS system which are in service today are IRS-1C, IRS-ID, IRS-P3, OCEANSAT-1, Technology Experimental Satellite (TES), RESOURCESAT-1, and the recently launched CARTOSAT-1 capable of taking stereo pictures. The upcoming Remote Sensing Satellite are Cartosat-2, RISAT (Radar Imaging Satellite) and Oceansat-2.

Imagery sent by IRS spacecraft is being put to a variety of uses in India with agricultural crop acreage and yield estimation being one of the most important uses. Besides, such imagery is being used for ground and surface water harvesting, monitoring of reservoirs and irrigation command areas to optimize water use. Forest survey and management and wasteland identification and recovery are other allied uses. This apart, IRS imagery is also used for mineral prospecting and forecasting of potential fishing zones.

With regard to applications in planning and management, IRS data is being used for urban planning, flood prone area identification and the consequent suggestions for mitigation measures. Based on this experience, the concept of Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development has been evolved wherein the spacecraft image data is integrated with the socio-economic data obtained from conventional sources to achieve sustainable development.

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