Indian space programme is acclaimed for the effectiveness in utilising the space systems for a variety of applications. The two main space systems, INSAT and the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite continue to be used for a number of applications relevant to national development. New initiatives are being undertaken to expand the application of these systems. The highlights of the applications programme are given in the following paragraphs.
Village Resource Centres (VRCs)
Satellite based communication and remote sensing technologies have demonstrated their capabilities to provide services related to education, healthcare, weather, land and water resources management, mitigation of impact of natural disasters, etc. To provide these space-based services directly to the rural areas, DOS has initiated a programme to set up Village Resource Centres (VRCs) in association with NGOs and trusts and state and central agencies concerned. VRCs are envisaged as single window delivery mechanism for a variety of space based products and services, such as tele-education, tele-medicine, information on natural resources for planning and development at local level, interactive advisories on agriculture, fisheries, land and water resources management, livestock management, etc, interactive vocational training towards alternative livelihood, e-governance, weather information, etc. VRCs will also address a variety of social aspects locally, and can act as helplines.
DOS provides satellite connectivity and bandwidth, telemedicine and tele-education facilities, available/customised spatial information on natural resources, along with indigenously developed query system. Housing, managing and operating the VRCs will rest with the associating agencies. The first cluster of three VRCs set up in Tamil Nadu in association with
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai last year have been functioning well. These VRCs have so far provided over 800 programmes/advisories to local people. The areas addressed include agriculture, adult and computer literacy, alternative livelihood related vocational training, marketing of agro-products, micro-finance/enterprises, livestock management, healthcare, etc.
During the year, the second cluster of nine VRCs has been set up in Kerala (6) and Tamil Nadu (3), in association with AMRITA Vishwa Vidyapeetham. This cluster has VRCs located in Schools, Tsunami Relief Camps and Orphanages. VRCs being set up include: six with Kerala State Planning Board including one mobile VRC, 15 with Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency in Karnataka, 19 with Karuna Trust in Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka, eight with M S Swaminathan Research Foundation in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, five with Kutchh Nav Nirman Abhyan, Bhuj, Kutchh District, Gujarat, five with Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ahmedabad and eight with Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)- Allahabad. DOS is also identifying NGOs/Trusts for setting-up VRCs in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,
Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chhatisgarh and Maharashtra states.
EDUSAT programme is aimed to provide distance education service using advanced space technology and ground technology of convergence. The programme is primarily for school, college and higher levels of education and to support non-formal education. EDUSAT pilot projects were taken up in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh ahead of EDUSAT launch using INSAT-3B, covering Visveswaraya Technological University in Karnataka, Y B Chavan Open University in Maharashtra and Rajiv Gandhi Technical University in Madhya Pradesh.
In the present semi-operational phase of EDUSAT programme, Karnataka Primary Education Project under ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ covering 885 primary schools has been made operational using the southern regional beam of EDUSAT. Networks for IGNOU, CEC/ University Grants Commission (UGC), CIT/National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) have been set up using the national beam. Interactive networks for Kerala and Tamil Nadu are operational and extensively used for teachers’ training and other training programmes using regional beam.
A total of five school networks (Chamarajanagar and Gulbarga in Karnataka, Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh, Mallapuram in Kerala and Lakshadweep) have been proposed of which two are operational and three are under implementation. A total of 33 interactive/ROT networks are proposed, in the national beam and regional beams of which 12 are operational. This includes a unique network for Blind Peoples Association operating in Ku-band western regional beam established in 10 blind schools of Gujarat. At present, more than 2300 classrooms have been connected through EDUSAT in various educational networks.
In the third phase, EDUSAT programme will be made fully operational. Manufacturers and service providers will replicate the systems and expand the present networks with funding by the end-users and technical and managerial support from DOS.
On-going Educational TV Services
INSAT is being used to provide Educational TV (ETV) service for primary school children in Tamil, Marathi, Oriya, Telugu and Hindi. A general enrichment programme on higher education (college sector) is telecast on the national network. These programmes, provided by the University Grants Commission (UGC), are a part of its countrywide classroom programme. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) broadcasts half an hour curriculum based lectures daily via the national network for the students.
Gyandarshan is an exclusive Educational TV channel of India started in January 2000 by IGNOU, Ministry of Human Resources Development and Prasar Bharati. Gyandarshan-I beams round the clock programmes acquired from UGC, NCERT, Central Institute for Educational Technology, State Institute of Research and Training and IGNOU. Aka Eklavya – Gyandarshan-III channel dedicated to technical education was started on January 26, 2003, in collaboration with the Department of Technical Education of the Human resources Development (HRD) ministry and Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), with IIT, Delhi as the nodal institution. The channel airing programmes originating from different IITs benefit the students pursuing technology and engineering.
Satellite-Based Training and Developmental Communications Channel (TDCC)
A total of eight Ext-C band channels — six on INSAT-3B and two on EDUSAT — are being used for the Training and Developmental Communication Channel (TDCC), a service that has been operational since 1995. It provides one-way video and two-way audio system of interactive education. The teaching-end includes a studio and uplink facility for transmitting live or pre-recorded lectures. The participants at the classrooms located nationwide receive lectures through simple dish antennas and have facility to interact with lecturers using telephone lines. The teaching-ends are now available at Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Goa University, Anna University and Ahmedabad. The Direct Receive System network consists of more than 4,000 classrooms spread over the country. Several state governments are using TDCC system extensively for distance education, rural development, women and children development, Panchayat Raj and industrial training.
Average monthly utilisation of TDCC is about 25 to 30 days a month with 100 to 110 interactive training programmes.
GRAMSAT Programme – GRAMSAT Pilot Projects (GPP)
GRAMSAT programme is an initiative to provide communication networks at the state level connecting the state capital to districts and blocks. The networks provide computer connectivity, data broadcasting, TV broadcasting facilities having applications like
e-governance, National Resource Information System (NRIS), development information, tele-conferencing, disaster management, telemedicine and distance education. The GPP/TDCC networks are operational in Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan. It is under implementation for North-Eastern region. During the year, Andaman and Nicobar (VSAT based) network has been implemented. The planning for North Eastern Region, Rajasthan, Kerala, Lakshadweep and West Bengal is in progress.
In Andaman and Nicobar the network is currently serving seven islands through eight nodes. The utilisation during first two months was 45 days/122 hours for vocational training in multicast and multipoint video conference mode providing computer education (polytechnics). In Orissa, the network has been expanded and upgraded for TV broadcasting to Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput region (800) and also for interactive training programmes, e-governance and National (Natural) Resources Information System to reach all the 234 blocks in 30 districts.
Telemedicine is one of the unique applications of space technology for societal benefit. DOS telemedicine programme, which started in 2001, is aimed at linking via INSAT remote/rural district hospitals in areas like Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Andaman and Lakshdweep Islands, North Eastern States and some of the remote and tribal districts in the States of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chhatisgarh, Punjab, West Bengal and Orissa with super-speciality hospitals in major cities.
While DOS provides the telemedicine systems – software, hardware and communication equipments as well as satellite bandwidth – the state governments and the speciality hospitals have to allocate funds for their part of infrastructure, manpower and maintenance. Technology development, standards and cost effective systems have been evolved in association with various state governments, NGOs, speciality hospitals and industry. DOS interacts with state government and speciality hospitals for bringing an understanding between the parties through an MOU.
During the year, the telemedicine network has been further expanded to cover 152 hospitals – 120 remote/rural/district hospitals/health centres connected to 32 speciality hospitals located in major cities. A mobile health service vehicle “DISHA” operated by private entrepreneur in the Madhurai District of Tamil Nadu has also been provided telemedicine connectivity.
An International Telemedicine Conference (INTELEMEDINDIA-2005) was sponsored by DOS and others at Bangalore during March 2005. An outcome of this conference was the constitution of a National Task Force by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The task force will work out various aspects of implementing telemedicine in the country.
INSAT has been a major catalyst for the expansion of television coverage in India. Satellite television now covers over 65 percent of the Indian land mass and over 90 percent of the population. At present 40 Doordarshan TV channels including news uplinks are operating through C-band transponders of INSAT-3A, INSAT-3C and INSAT-2E (INTELSAT leased). Most of the TV channels are digitised.
The following satellite television services are being operated by Doordarshan:
• National networking service (DD-1), DD News (DD-2), DD-Bharti and Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) service.
• Regional services in Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, UP, Assam, Maharashtra, Punjab, North-East, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Nagpur, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Port Blair, Nagaland, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh.
At present, 1,406 transmitters of Doordarshan are working in INSAT system out of which 1,138 transmitters (117 High Power ransmitters (HPT), 744 Low Power Transmitters (LPT), 259 Very Low Power Transmitters (VLPT) and 18 transposers) are working in the DD-1 network and 153 TV Transmitters (68 HPTs, 80 LPTs and five VLPTs) are working in the DD-2 network. 111 Regional service transmitters (six HPTs, nine LPTS and 96 VLPTs), four HPTs for digital transmissions are also operational in the Doordarshan Network. 47 Private TV channels are operational through four private TV teleports.
Satellite News Gathering and Dissemination
Satellite News Gathering using INSAT system enables on the spot real-time news coverage. Prasar Bharati has twelve Digital Outdoor-Broadcast DSNG terminals operating through INSAT network in C-band to cover important events in different locations for transmission to a central station at Delhi for rebroadcast over DD channels. Two Ku-band DSNG terminals have been added by DD in INSAT network. Five more DSNG terminals in Ku-band are in the process of induction and eight more are planned.
Press Trust of India (PTI) is implementing a system to provide its news and information services at higher speed and increased volume and variety directly to a wider range of media and other users by utilising the broadcast facilities of INSAT-3C. The project utilises a Radio Networking (RN) type of channel on one of the broadcast (CxS) transponders of the satellite. PTI satellite news and facsimile dissemination project is working with 15 terminals (14 from PTI and one shared with AIR).
Currently AIR has four DSNG terminals and four more DSNG terminals are in the process of induction. In addition, 53 terminals are operational for private DSNG channels.
Radio Networking (RN) through INSAT provides a reliable high-fidelity programme channels for national as well as regional networking. At present, 213 All India Radio (AIR) stations have been equipped with S-band receive terminals out of which around 100 AIR stations have been upgraded to receive C-band analogue and digital RN carriers and rest of the stations are under process of up-gradation to receive analogue and digital C-band RN carriers.
A total of 76 RN channels are being up-linked at present. Out of these, 39 are operating in CxC and 37 CxC bands. For this AIR is utilising two S-band transponders and one C-band transponder of INSAT-3C. A total of 90 carriers in CxC band are being envisaged for up-linking by utilising an entire transponder of INSAT-3C.
In AIR network, a total of 27 stations are present with facility to uplink in both CxS and CxC band frequency. The Central earth station at Broadcast House, Delhi, is under augmentation to make provision for up-linking 24 RN carriers in CxS and CxC band. New earth stations are envisaged at AIR Varanasi, Rohtak, Aurangaband and Leh. Recently AIR has launched
12 radio channels on DTH terminals in Ku-band at Todapur, New Delhi. Efforts are underway to augment this to 30 channels.
A total of 624 telecommunication terminals of various sizes and capabilities (excluding NICNET, RABMN and VSAT micro terminals) are operating in INSAT telecommunications network providing 10,070 two-way speech circuits or equivalent to over 492 routes. These include 89 BSNL, 125 for government users and 27 Closed User Group(CUG)/VSAT operators earth stations and 354 BSNL VSATs (239 multi-channel per carrier (MCPC) VSATs, 53 High speed VSAT Network (HVNET) terminals and 62 VSATs operating under the Remote Area Business Management Network. A total of 25,000 CUG VSATs are operating through INSAT.
The Bangalore-Delhi digital network with two 34 Mbps streams has been commissioned. Augmentation of existing eight Mbps connectivity amongst four metros is planned by using digital channel multiplying equipment.
Captive satellite-based networks for National Thermal Power Corporation, Gas Authority of India Ltd, Nuclear Power Corporation, Indian Telephone Industries, Oil and Natural Gas Commission, National Fertilisers Limited and Coal India Limited are operational. A Coal India Limited earth station at Poonch has been commissioned. The National Stock Exchange VSAT network in extended C-band is operational. A number of captive government networks are also working with INSAT. More organisations are in the process of implementing their own captive networks using INSAT. DOT has licensed a few private operators to provide value-added services to the public using the extended C-band.
Mobile Satellite Services
An S-band Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) was added to INSAT system with the launch of INSAT-3C in 2002 and GSAT-2 in 2003. The following two classes of services were identified for MSS:
• A small portable satellite terminal that works with INSAT for voice/data communication has been developed with the participation of Indian industries. The terminal is useful for voice communication especially during disasters when other communication means break down. It can be used from any location in India for emergency communication. Transmit and receive frequencies of the terminal are in S-Band.
• The portable terminal is connected to the EPABX at central hub station through satellite channel and hence could be considered as an extension of EPABX and call could be made between any satellite terminals and local phones on the EPABX. Central hub station is located at SAC, Ahmedabad.
INSAT Reporting system: This consist of low bit rate one-way reporting service using shared channels with portable and hand-held terminals. This unique one-way messaging from a remote location to user-headquarters operates with the Delhi Earth Station (DES) of DOS as the hub. This is an experimental service. Short messages from user terminals are relayed through the satellite to the hub and are automatically forwarded to the respective user headquarters via Fax or data links. This reporting service is provided using small hand-held terminals. There is a provision to attach a GPS receiver to the reporting terminal for position information.
The meteorological data of INSAT system is processed and disseminated by the INSAT Meteorological Data Processing System (IMDPS) of India Meteorological Department (IMD). Upper winds, sea surface temperature and precipitation index data are regularly obtained. The products derived from the image data include: cloud motion vectors, sea surface temperature, outgoing long-wave radiation and quantitative precipitation index. The products are used for weather forecasting, both synoptic and numerical weather prediction.
INSAT-VHRR imageries are used by Doordarshan during news coverage and by newspapers as part of weather reporting. At present, repetitive and synoptic weather system observations over Indian Ocean from geostationary orbit are available only from INSAT system. INSAT VHRR data is available in near real-time at 90 Meteorological Data Dissemination Centres (MDDC) in various parts of the country. With the commissioning of direct satellite service for processed VHRR data, MDDC type of data can be provided at any location in the country.
IMD has installed 100 meteorological Data Collection Platforms (DCPs) and other agencies have installed about 200 DCPs all over the country. One DCP is also installed at Schiramacher, the Indian base station in Antarctica.
DCP services are provided using the Data Relay Transponders of Kalpana-1 and INSAT-3A. A rainfall monitoring system which operates at 300 bits/second has been developed. ISRO has taken up indigenous development of low cost automatic weather station for deployment in the country in large numbers. The data collection is proposed to be carried out in TDMA mode instead of the present random access mode.
For quick dissemination of warnings against impending disaster from approaching cyclones, specially designed receivers have been installed at the vulnerable coastal areas in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, West Bengal and Gujarat for direct transmission of warnings to the officials and public in general using broadcast capability of INSAT. IMD’s Area Cyclone Warning Centres generate special warning bulletins and transmit them every hour in local languages to the affected areas. Three hundred and fifty such receiver stations have been installed by IMD. Out of these 100 are Digital CWDS (DCWDS) based on advanced technology. The DCWDS has been deployed with acknowledgement transmitters to get confirmation at transmitting station.
A cooperative agreement has been signed with EUMETSAT for using meteorological data from Meteosat-5 at 63 degree East in exchange for weather pictures collected by INSAT.
Satellite Aided Search and Rescue (SAS&R)
India is a member of the international COSPAS-SARSAT programme for providing distress alert and position location service through LEOSAR (Low Earth Orbit Search And Rescue) satellite system. Under this programme, India has established two Local User Terminals (LUTs), one at Lucknow and the other at Bangalore. The Indian Mission Control Centre (INMCC), is located at ISTRAC, Bangalore.
INSAT-3A located at 93.5 deg East is equipped with 406 MHz Search and Rescue payload that picks up and relays alert signals originating from the distress beacons of maritime, aviation and land users. INSAT and GOES systems have become an integral part of the COSPAS-SARSAT system and they complement the LEOSAR system.
Indian LUTs provide coverage to a large part of Indian Ocean region rendering distress alert services to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. The operations of INMCC/LUT are funded by the participating agencies, namely, Coast Guard, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Director General of Shipping and Services.
INSAT GEOSAR Local User Terminal (GEO LUT) is established at ISTRAC, Bangalore and integrated with INMCC. The distress alert messages concerning the Indian service area, detected at INMCC are passed on to Indian Coast Guard and Rescue Coordination Centres at Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai. The search and rescue activities are carried out by Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force. INMCC is linked to the RCCs and other International MCCs through automatic telex and Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network. The Indian LUTs and MCC provide service round the clock and maintain the database of all 406 MHz registered beacons equipped on Indian ships and aircraft.
Development of indigenous search and rescue beacons has been taken up and prototypes are being tested.
During the year, the Indian search and rescue system detected and supported two real distress calls that resulted in rescue of 23 people.
• On January 19, 2005, a private helicopter belonging to Hindustan Ink crashed at Vapi (Daman). Both the crew members were rescued.
• On May 18, 2005, a Hong Kong vessel was drifting and later abandoned by the crew. The first alert was through INMARSAT-C followed by COSPAS-SARSAT EPIRB activation.
21 crew members were rescued. INSAT system detected the alert first with 98 minutes time advantage compared to LEO system.
Standard Time and Frequency Signal Dissemination Services
A Standard Time and Frequency Signal Dissemination Service using a Radio Networking (RN) type CxS carrier on INSAT-3C, is being operated by the National Physical Laboratory. This service is available round-the-clock in a broadcast mode at downlink frequency in S-band and is receivable on a set-up consisting of a 2.4 m diameter antenna, a front-end converter, an FM demodulator and a microprocessor controlled signal decoder. The service consists of a train of 5 kHz bursts signal, which is frequency modulated on the carrier. The time has a precision of better than one microsecond and accuracy of better than 20 microseconds.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to implement an indigenous Satellite-Based Regional GPS Augmentation System also known as Space-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) as part of the Satellite-Based Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS)/Air Traffic Management (ATM) plan for civil aviation. A national plan for satellite navigation including implementation of Technology Demonstration System (TDS) over the Indian airspace as a proof of concept, has been prepared jointly by Airports Authority of India (AAI) and ISRO. TDS is the first step towards implementing an operational SBAS system.
The Indian SBAS is planned to be implemented in three phases: Technology Demonstration System, Initial Experimental Phase and Final Operational Phase. The Indian SBAS is expected to bridge the gap between the European EGNOS (European Geo Stationary Navigation Overlay System) and the Japanese MSAS (MTSAT Space Augmentation System) to provide seamless navigation of aircraft from west to east and vice-versa. When implemented, the Indian SBAS system will play an important role in the introduction of satellite based navigation services in the Asia Pacific region. The Indian SBAS system has been given an acronym – GPS And GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN).
The first navigation payload is being fabricated and it is proposed to be flown on the GSAT-4 expected to be launched in 2006-07. Two more payloads will be subsequently flown, one each on two geostationary satellites.
Remote Sensing Applications for Natural Resources Management
National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS), under the aegis of DOS, is aimed at deriving optimum utilisation of the country’s natural resources by systematic inventory using earth observation data in conjunction with conventional techniques. The Planning Committee of NNRMS (PC-NNRMS) provides guidelines for implementation of the system and oversees the progress of remote sensing applications. Ten Standing Committees have been constituted for application of remote sensing in different areas. They are: (i) Agriculture and Soils, (ii) Bio-Resources, (iii) Geology and Mineral Resources, (iv) Water Resources, (v) Ocean Resources, (vi) Cartography and Mapping, (vii) Urban Management, (viii) Rural Development, (ix) Training and (x) Meteorology. Each of these Standing Committees is chaired by Secretary of the respective government departments and include experts from major user departments/agencies.
The remote sensing application projects at national, regional and local levels are carried out through NRSA, Hyderabad, SAC, Ahmedabad, five RRSSCs located at Bangalore, Dehradun Jodhpur, Kharagpur, and Nagpur and NE-SAC, Shillong. State and central government departments, state remote sensing centres and others are associated in these projects. Some of the major application projects carried out during the year are highlighted in the following paragraphs.
CARTOSAT-1 Data Utilisation: CARTOSAT-1, launched in May 2005, provides 2.5 m spatial resolution panchromatic stereoscopic data. Demonstrative studies on its utilisation have focused on land records metrology, land parcel mapping, city guide map updation, terrain parameter retrieval, base map generation, etc. Land parcel maps have been prepared for a few villages.
Groundwater Prospects Mapping: Under Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission, funded by the Department of Drinking Water Supply of the Ministry of Rural Development, phase-I of Groundwater Prospects Mapping was launched for six states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan). The work involved preparation of maps on 1:50,000 scale and generation of digital database pertaining to ground water such as lithology, geomorphology, geological structures and hydrology.
Under phase-II, all the maps of Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh have been supplied. Work is nearing completion in Gujarat and Orissa. Phase-III has been proposed to cover the remaining states of India.
The user feedback indicates good success for targeting water. Training workshops have been organised in all the states to demonstrate the utility of these maps for selection of well sites and planning recharge structures. As many as 74,777 wells have been drilled in seven states with the overall success rate of 90 percent and about 3,600 recharge structures have been constructed.
CAPE and FASAL: Crop Acreage and Production Estimate (CAPE) is a countrywide project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation and executed by DOS along with various State Remote Sensing Applications Centres, State Departments of Agriculture and Agricultural Universities. Acreage and production estimates for principal crops such as wheat, rice, sorghum, cotton, mustard and groundnut are generated under the project using stratified random sampling approach. Achievements of CAPE include evaluation of multi-date remote sensing data for crop identification, creation of a geo-referenced cadastral data-base for accuracy evaluation, development of yield models using trend and weather data.
The all India wheat area was estimated as 26.43 million hectares and production as 72.92 million tonne for 2004-05 Rabi season. The national Kharif rice area was estimated as 36.39 million hectares and production as 71.49 million tonne for 2004. Kharif Rice acreage and production forecasts for Andhra Pradesh were 2.08 million hectare and 5.72 million tonne respectively. Rabi acreage and production forecasts for Andhra Pradesh were 855.43 hectare and 3.05 million tonne respectively. Sugarcane acreage estimates for nine districts of Uttar Pradesh was completed and the total acreage was 2.18 million hectare and production was 123.86 million tonne. The all India potato area was estimated as 1.16 million hectares and production as 24.39 million tonne for 2004-05. Jowar acreage estimates for ten districts of Karnataka was 1.07 million hectare and production was 0.805 million tonne for the
Rabi season of 2004-05.
Based on experience of CAPE, efforts are on to institutionalise Forecasting Agricultural output through Agro-meteorological and Land based observations (FASAL) which envisages phased implementation in collaboration with State Agricultural Statistical Agencies.
Agroclimatic Planning and Information Bank: Under Phase-II of Agroclimatic Planning and Information Bank taken up for six districts of Karnataka, web-based information bank has been generated for 63 major horticultural crops. The website has been launched and generation of the same in the regional language has been completed.
Precision Farming: A synergy of precision farming with other technologies like remotely-sensed images coupled with GPS and GIS offers a powerful tool for arriving at farm management decisions at within field level to optimise crop production based on the potentials and limitations of the available resources. To explore the potential of remote sensing in providing spatial and temporal information on soils and crops as input to precision farming technology, field experiments have been initiated in collaboration with other organisations for cultivation under irrigated conditions, rain-fed controlled and rain-fed farmers’ conditions. A study to assess the variability in soil fertility and yield of paddy using in situ observations and high resolution multi-spectral data has been taken up at Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) Research farm.
Potential Fishery Zone (PFZ) Forecasting: Potential fishing zones were initially forecast using sea surface temperature data. Addition of chlorophyll information derived from OCEANSAT-1 introduced the important link of sea food chains and improved the accuracy of forecast. A third parameter, the Sea Surface Wind (SSW) which indicates the effect of currents on feeding grounds, has now been incorporated resulting in further improvement in forecasts. Forty forecasts have been given using SSW and Fishery Survey of India have made 156 observations in 43 suggested PFZs. The reliability of forecast has increased from 70 to
Biodiversity Characterisation: Initiated jointly by the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Space, the biodiversity characterisation at landscape level, covers four main biodiversity rich regions of the country – NE Region, Western Himalayas, Western Ghats and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Study in Andaman and Nicobar islands has been completed during the year and reports, atlases and CDs have been published and distributed to the users such as Department of Biotechnology, State Forest Departments, Ministry of Environment and Forests, subject experts, etc. Phase-ll of the Biodiversity Characterisation Project is in progress for the Eastern Ghats and Central India, covering West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Orissa.
A Biodiversity Information System containing exhaustive database on species has also been developed. It allows identifying the gap areas and species-habitat relationship and helps biodiversity conservation and planning by setting priorities.
Desertification Monitoring and Assessment: Funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the study has been taken up as part of the Thematic Programme Network-1 of UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The study was carried out in selected parts of the country in both hot and cold desert areas on 1:50,000 scale.
Work has been completed for hot desert in Pali and Dausa districts of Rajasthan, Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh, Bellary district of Karnataka, Balia district of UP, Panchkula district of Haryana, Mehboob Nagar district of Andhra Pradesh and Theni Watershed in Tamil Nadu. and for cold desert in Kathua, Padam, Hanle, Leh, Panamic district in J & K and Chamba, Keylong and Lahul Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh. Desertification status mapping of the country using data of RESOURCESAT has been taken up.
Desertification Status map on 1:1 million scale for entire country is being prepared using AWiFS data.
Integrated Resources Information System for Desert Areas (IRIS-DA): Funded by the Ministry of Rural Development, this project envisages preparation of land and water resource management and utilisation plans on 1:50,000 scale to aid state, district and block level officials in planning development works. The project covers 76,527 sq km in 83 desert or drought-prone blocks distributed in 18 districts of four states — Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Karnataka. The project has been completed and block-wise thematic maps, final action plan maps for land and water resources development for 83 blocks and district-wise reports for 18 districts have been generated and provided to Ministry of Rural Development.
Snowmelt Run-off Forecast: Forecast of cumulative seasonal (April-May-June) snowmelt run-off from Sutlej river basin up to Bhakra reservoir is made available to Bhakra Beas Management Board by the first week of April every year, based on analysis of daily observed satellite data. This forecast is updated subsequently to provide new information for reservoir water scheduling. During the year, Kashmir valley saw unprecedented and late snowfall during February-March. Concerns were raised about flooding in the valley if these tons of accumulated snow melted. Studies were carried out to assess the snowmelt runoff in the Jhelum basin and the possibility of resultant floods in the Kashmir valley.
Snow and Glacier Investigations: Glaciers are emerging as first measurable indicators of global warming. Study of snow and glaciers is facilitated by data from IRS satellites. Glacier Atlas of Chenab basin containing 454 glaciers spread over an area of
1174 sq km was published showing extent of glaciers and related features. Snow line on glaciers is being monitored using weekly data of WiFS/AWiFS instruments carried on board IRS satellites from May to October (end of ablation season). Mean specific mass balance for 19 glaciers in Baspa basin shows mean annual loss of glacial ice at 0.11735 cu km per year. Digital elevation model generated from satellite data has been used to estimate mass balance in Gangotri glacier.
Snow and Glaciers studies (includes glacial inventory of entire Himalayas on 1:50,000 scale, snow cover monitoring on 1:250,000 scale every 10 days and glacier retreat and mass balance studies for selected glaciers) is in progress.
Coastal, mangroves and coral reefs studies: Coastal, mangroves and coral reefs studies include mapping and monitoring of coastal zone on 1:25,000 scale and selected areas on 1:5000 scale, mapping and monitoring of mangroves and coral reefs. Development of Coastal Zone Information System is in progress.
National Wastelands Inventory and Updation: Subsequent to mapping and creation of digital database on wastelands of the country, a project has been taken up at the behest of the Ministry of Rural Development to update the wastelands information using recent satellite data. The wasteland atlas depicting the spatial information, identification and delineation of new areas under wastelands, identification of areas where reclamation programme has been implemented and released. A Wastelands Information System is being designed. Geo database has been finalised for 20 states.
Archaeological Applications: Satellite archaeology is based on study of geometric patterns of soil and vegetation marks, palaeo-channels, palaeo-mudflats, and trend lines. Great Rann of Kachchh is believed to be the arm of sea or part of the sea where a few sites were located using analysis of LISS-IV data of IRS satellite. The sites identified and confirmed on ground are located in many places in Kutchchh district and North Gujarat. One such site is a fortified structure identified as Kotda archaeological site, which has been confirmed on ground by Directorate of Archaeology, Gujarat based on the pottery, copper coins, millstones, skulls, etc.
Watershed Development Project in Karnataka: Under this project, aided by World Bank, 854 micro watersheds in 77 sub-watersheds have been taken up in five districts (Kolar, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Dharwad and Haveri) covered by Karnataka Watershed Development Department. Apart from socio-economic data, the remote sensing derived maps/ inputs at cadastral level are used to assist the implementing agencies in generating action plans and also in monitoring the social and environmental changes. Satellite remote sensing derived inputs (like changes in land use, vegetation density, etc., at cadastral level) and ground based information are used concurrently and additively for an effective monitoring mechanism. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) activities have been taken up in sample micro-watersheds of all the sub-watersheds in three phases. Baseline survey has been completed in phase-1 and phase-2 watersheds and initiated in phase-3 watersheds. Concurrent monitoring is on in all the watersheds. Midterm evaluation has been completed in Phase-1 watersheds. Various software packages have been developed, installed and used for effective M&E. The entire
M&E approach evolved by ISRO has been acknowledged by World Bank. An impact study to highlight the short-term visible impacts on the natural resources, household income, employment generation and migration, community participation and empowerment of women, etc. has been conducted.
Sedimentation Survey of Reservoirs: Sedimentation survey using satellite remote sensing data has been completed for two reservoirs – Sriramsagar in Andhra Pradesh and Ujjani in Maharashtra. The project was completed in two phases, following which the personnel of collaborating agency, the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS), Pune were trained.
Water-logging and Salinity Mapping for Command Areas: A project on assessment and monitoring of salinity and waterlogged areas in major and medium commands in the country has been taken up on behalf of Central Water Commission (CWC). The database on major and medium irrigation commands of the country is fragmented, scattered and available in varying scale and language. Most of the maps and atlas available in different states are of symbolic in nature and the command boundaries and locations are only tentative lacking geographic correspondence. In this project all the major and medium command boundaries (2421 number) will be registered and brought onto single platform and scale (1:50,000). Exact delineation of command boundaries using multitemporal satellite data (crop extent) and updation of canal network are also envisaged in this project. Mapping of extent of water logging and salinity/alkalinity using two seasons satellite data; Creation of spatial database; point location of the observation wells for ground water depth along with attributes for continuous ground water surface representation and contouring; spatial correlation between ground water and surface waterlogged areas; creation of spatial database for all sampling points for soils, collected from the field along with soil chemical analysis values for subsequent spatial variability analysis; integration of results of soil analysis with satellite data to arrive at physical extent and severity of salt affected areas; developing robust and ergonomic information system on major and medium commands for the entire country (to facilitate decision makers on querying, monitoring and management) are the major work components in this project.
Ocean Applications: Estimation of sub-surface ocean temperature profiles has been derived using Artificial Neural Network (ANN) approach. It has been possible to distinguish salt pans at different stages of crystallisation in Kutchchh and aquaculture fields in Coringa using remote sensing data by combining spectral responses in short wave infrared and visible bands of LISS-III camera of RESOURCESAT-1.
National (Natural) Resources Information System (NRIS): Database for 30 district nodes in 17 states with a few case studies relevant to these nodes has been created. Database creation is progressing for 14 states – Mizoram, Sikkim, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
National Geographic Information System (GIS): National GIS is a major initiative of organising the image and spatial data assets and make them accessible to users – for both viewing and physical access. National level spatial layers on various themes at 1:250,000 scale has been organised. National GIS has been formally released in April, 2005. Major themes covered are land use/land cover, soils, drainage, water bodies, wasteland, vegetation type besides administrative boundaries at different levels, settlements, transport network, etc. RESOURCESAT-1 AWiFS based image base has been used in this effort. Planning Commission is intending to use this database for natural resources management. An intelligent front-end NNRMS map viewer has been developed that allows browsing and simple-querying of the National GIS layers.
Chhatisgarh State Developmental Planning: At the behest of the Chhatisgarh Infotech and Biotech Promotion Society (CHiPS), a project on state developmental planning using remote sensing and GIS for 20,379 villages covering 1,35,194 sq km has been taken up. The objectives include establishment of natural resources database, geo-referencing of village maps and development of land information system and development of road information system.
Comprehensive digital database has been created for all the 16 districts. Geo-referencing of village maps has been done for 75 out of total 98 taluks. Road information system has been created for all the 16 districts. The database generated under this project is being used for developmental activities like identification of suitable sites for industry development, horticulture, etc. Many other projects like inputs for preparation of forest management information system, delimitation of assembly constituencies, etc, have been carried out for Chhatisgarh.
Assessment of Irrigation Potential: High resolution satellite data helps to capture the existing irrigation infrastructure and to monitor the progress of new irrigation potential created under programs such as the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) and Central Loan Assistance Programme. A pilot project is being taken up to study and speed up the implementation of on-going irrigation/multi-purpose projects, starting with the Upper Krishna project command area in Karnataka and Teesta barrage command area in West Bengal.
Natural Resources Repository (NRR): DOS has initiated the generation of natural resources repository for the country comprising mainly of remote sensing based data/information. This repository comprises a spatial database of seven key natural resources information — land use/land cover, soil, geomorphology, vegetation, snow/glacier, land degradation and wetlands — on 1:50,000 scale and land use/land cover maps (cropping season wise) on 1:250,000 scale, a spatial database of large scale base information on 1:10,000 scale and a cadastral referenced database. The repository will be able to serve the needs of government, business and citizens at large.
Natural Resources Census: The Natural Resources (NR) census will provide a snap-shot of the status of natural resources. At the same time, encapsulating these NR census maps and images into a GIS repository will enable instant availability of these maps for supporting developmental activities. This project uses IRS images to prepare natural resources information layers at 1:50,000 scale and land use/land cover at 1:250,000 scale, periodically for monitoring of natural resources. Under phase-1 land use/land cover mapping on 1:250,000 scale has been completed for Kharif season of 2004 and the mapping for Rabi and Zaid is progressing. Under phase-2, work on land use/land cover mapping on 1:50,000 scale has been initiated.
Large Scale Mapping (LSM): Bringing out large-scale maps at 1: 10,000 using the high-resolution satellite remote sensing data and aerial photography has been taken under two phases – 1) pilot phase using IKONOS data and 2) operational phase using CARTOSAT-1 data. Under the pilot phase, 74 sites covering an area of 12,000 sq km have been taken up. Mapping for 14 sites has been completed and the final product is available. Operational phase of the activity using CARTOSAT–1 data has been initiated.
Natural Resources Data Base (NRDB): NRDB is to organise and maintain a standardised GIS database of all thematic data sets, which are being generated under NNRMS and position the spatial data services for users. The activity has been initiated.
Cadastral Referencing Database (CRD): Digital Cadastral Referenced Database (CRD), which can be used for generating cadastral/village referencing of spatial information has been taken up for all the states of India under NNRMS.
NNRMS Portal: A portal providing information on NNRMS and metadata of the projects carried out so far has been opened on the internet for disseminating the information to user community.
DLR-ESAR Campaign: Data processing and data product generation of DLR-ESAR has been carried out during the year. A total of around 1000 GB of data was generated of which nearly 500 GB is user deliverable products related to slant range, ground range, geo-coded data as well as interferometric and coherence data. All Joint Experiment Projects identified under DLR-ESAR have been provided the required data.
RISAT Joint Experiment Programme (JEP): RISAT JEP has been initiated to address various activities covering aerial data acquisition, training and thematic studies — soil moisture, agriculture, geology, forestry, oceanography, terrain analysis and topographic studies, flood and water spread, snow and glaciers. In addition, space-borne SAR data from Envisat over several test sites during Kharif 2005-06 is being analysed for discrimination and acreage estimation of major crops and to identify the best polarisation combination for optimisation.
Aerial Remote Sensing
During the year, several aerial surveys as well as range calibration/sensor validation tasks have been carried out. Post-tsunami, ALTM-DC data for Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu coasts, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar islands was acquired and processed and provided to ministries concerned. A pole-to-pole survey for electrical network mapping was carried out for West Bengal State Electricity Board in collaboration with Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. Location and attributes of 6 lakh poles covering 63 electric supply units were collected to facilitate development of power GIS applications. A customised municipal GIS solution for stand alone application and web browser based application has been developed for Bangalore Mahanagar Palike.
Other projects completed during the year are – aerial photography over Mumbai, Karnataka and Vishakapatnam, ALTM-DC survey for NWDA, aeromagnetic survey over Indo-Gangetic plains for DGH, digital mapping of Bangalore city and surroundings covering 1424 sq km, base map preparation for 11 towns in Andhra Pradesh, mapping for 16 towns covering 1200 sq.km for LSM project and SAR sensor validation tasks. Calibration targets have been established at Shadnagar. GPS reference station has been operated for NWDA project. GPS surveys have been done over Uttarkashi for disaster management support.
Thematic mapping of Dubai and Hatta regions was executed. Post-tsunami, ALTM-DC survey and aerial photography were carried out in Sri Lanka and the islands of Maldives. Digital mapping of Maldives is being carried out while in-depth training has been conducted for Maldivian officials.
Disaster Management Support
The Disaster Management Support (DMS) programme of DOS addresses information requirements of the user community by utilising space-based data. With a synergistic use of the remote sensing and communication capabilities of the Indian satellites, several support services are being provided in the event of disasters. DMS programme includes: i) creation of digital database for facilitating hazard zonation and damage assessment ii) monitoring major natural disasters using satellite and aerial data and development of appropriate techniques and tools iii) acquisition of close contour data for hazard-prone areas using air-borne Laser Terrain Mapper iv) strengthening the communication backbone for timely dissemination of information and emergency support v) development of Air-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) towards all-weather monitoring capability vi) establishment of a Decision Support Centre (DSC) at NRSA as a single-window service provider and vii) support the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, as a signatory to the charter.
The Decision Support Centre (DSC) has become operational during the year. The DSC is linked through a VSAT to National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) at the Ministry of Home Affairs. Plans are afoot to expand the VSAT-based Virtual Private Network by linking 22 State Emergency Operation Centres (SEOCs) and other central agencies.
The creation of a digital database with GIS layers on land-use and land-cover, infrastructure and geomorphology for 60 districts in five states (Assam, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh) is near completion. The database, which is being installed at DSC, will provide information on areas affected, affected population, optimal route planning, etc. Development of ASAR to support all-weather monitoring capability is in an advanced stage.
During the year, support and services were provided during natural disasters such as floods, drought, cyclone, earthquake etc. The highlights are:
• The Pereechu lake in the Tibet region (across the Indian border, formed during end-July 2004 due to blockade by landslide) was regularly monitored till end-June 2005, when the blockade was seen to have breached. The information was provided to MHA and CWC so as to take precaution to prevent loss to lives and property downstream in Himachal Pradesh.
• At the behest of Relief Commissioner, Tamil Nadu, the tsunami affected areas in the State (Nagapattinam, Karaikal, Chennai, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Pondicherry coasts) were mapped using RESOURCESAT-1 data for planning rehabilitation.
• All the flood events in the country during the year (flash floods as well as others) were monitored, inundation maps prepared in near real-time basis, were provided to MHA, CWC and states concerned. The events monitored included those in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. About 250 disaster watch reports and over 40 flood monitoring maps were generated.
• As part of the National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System (NADAMS), monthly reports on the crop condition were prepared at district level for 14 states, and provided to Dept. of Agriculture and Cooperation and states concerned.
• Forest fire which occurred in certain parts of Uttaranchal and Kerala were monitored.
• Landslides which occurred in the Joshimath – Badrinath sector were mapped, and information provided to MHA.
• The J&K earthquake affected areas were studied using CARTOSAT-1 data and information provided to MHA.
Plans are afoot to procure an aircraft for flying ASAR and a large format digital camera, 50 additional INSAT Type-D communication terminals for use during emergency communications and make available INSAT based weather data and services through DSC, by developing appropriate analysis and software tools.
Towards the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS), being set up by Department of Ocean Development (DOD), DOS has initiated actions towards networking of seismic stations, tide gauges and data buoys of Deep sea Assessment and Reporting Terminals (DART); development of pressure sensor for DART and generation of spatial database for vulnerable coastal areas for inundation and storm surge modeling.