It was on March 17, 1988, India sent the IRS1A to space, the first remote sensing satellite (IRS) of the country. To remember that momentous day, the Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS) organised a commemoration ceremony at IISc and felicitated the members of the first IRS programme that made the IRS1A possible.Former heads of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Prof U R Rao, Dr K Kasturirangan and other pioneers of the first IRS space programme Prof M G K Menon, Prof Deekshatulu, Prof P D Bhavsar, Mr Y S Rajan and Mr George Joseph were honoured. Besides, a symposium on ‘Indian Remote Sensing Satellite: A saga of 25 years’ was held on March 16 and March 17 in association with the Indian Meteorological Society (IMS), Indian National Cartographic Association (INCA), Indian Society of Geomantics and Space Society of Mechanical Engineers (SSME).The symposium highlighted how the IRS had helped national development in various sectors. For instance, farmers who used weather related information that came from remote sensing satellites in the last four years reported an increase in agricultural production by seven per cent that is equal to Rs 50,000 crore per annum. Similarly, the identification of potential fishing zones with the help of these satellites has led to an additional benefit of Rs 34,000 crore to the Indian fishermen. “The data from these satellites are processed into high computing systems to provide simple information to fishermen,” said Dr Shailesh Nayak, President, ISG and IMA. Environmental impact assessments and disaster management efforts use large amount of data from these remote sensing satellites. “We were able to predict cyclone Neelam. Landslides and earthquakes can also be better monitored with the technology,” he said. Almost all the major companies in the power and mining sector use remote sensing technology and, most state governments have a remote sensing centre. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launching more than 50 space missions during the next Five Year Plan revealed an official on the sidelines of the symposium.
Source: Deccan Herald