|His Coordinates, Interviews
“With slashed products prices, coming days ill see improved web based services”
How will conversion of NRSA into NRSC benefi t end user of remote sensing products?
With the conversion, NRSC will, as part of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), fully integrate with other ISRO centres in the development and operations of the ground segment of the large constellation of IRS satellites and will also take a bigger role during the R&D phase of the IRS programme. NRSC will play the lead role in important national programmes, through easy linkages with all concerned government departments/ agencies such as Ministries of Agriculture, water resources, environment and forests, rural and urban development, home affairs, etc., including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
NRSC shall develop newer products and services and deliver them in rear real time in a much more cost effective manner for addressing societal needs (water, food, energy, and environment), national imperatives, diaster management, global climate change and international cooperation in these arenas. Already the products prices have been slashed by 30 to 50% in all categories, and the coming days will see improved web based services.
Will NRSC now be able to play a more proactive role in the kind of satellites that are developed in the future with reference to the Remote Sensing Satellites?
NRSC has always adopted a two pronged approach; It provided specifi c inputs to missions on sensor in-orbit performance and it enables ISRO to continuously improve the sensors and the data processing algorithms as well. Further it has always been proactive through various application projects under NNRMS and has been interacting with user agencies to get periodic feedback on sensor requirements. In fact, NRSC’s inputs for future Indian EO programmes has always been well appreciated and relied upon while defi ning the Indian remote sensing satellites. These activities will become better synergised and integrated in an ISRO environment than as an autonomous organisation. Horizontal movement of personnel across ISRO centres from and to NRSC is another impetus.
Given the critical need for trained manpower in this sector, under NRSC, will we see more training institutes coming up in the country?
Emerging opportunities within the Remote Sensing and associated technologies/ techniques such as GIS, GPS & advances in image processing require developing competency models for newer geospatialapplications for developing the necessary pipeline of skilled scientific manpower. NRSC is in the process of reassessing the future capacity building needs. At the moment we have training programmes offered at NRSC main campus & at IIRS, UN CSSTE-AP as well as IIST at various levels and on multitude of topics. Current topics like Hyper-spectral, LiDAR, satellite photogrammetry, microwave data processing, climate studies and modelling, GIS visualization etc will be further emphasised. Through strategic partnership and associations, many universities/organisations have Centre’s of excellence for teaching and research in this fi eld offering various courses at both undergraduate and post-graduate level and also short-term training modules for the working scientists. Considering the ubiquitous use of this technology, many private fi rms too are offering training in GIS technology today.
Research through the RESPOND project will get necessary boost too involving academia.
Could you please elaborate on the ‘Bhoosampada’ programme?
Mapping of Land use / land cover (LULC) on 1:25,000 scale has been envisaged under the NNRMS initiated Natural Resources Census (NRC) project using multi-temporal Resourcesat-1 AWiFS data on annual basis from 2004-05 to 2007-08. The major objective of this project was to make a rapid assessment of the national LULC with an emphasis on the net sown area for different cropping seasons. Boosampada is a web-based information portal for disseminating this Land use and Land Cover data, and to derive information on intra-annual variation. It also provides information on seasonal water spread and snow cover. Boosampada provides a multi-user cross platform environment to access, query and analyse geo-spatial data in a simple web browser environment. We are also in the process of completing the 1:50K LULC mapping which is planned for updation every 4-5 years. Eventually, all these efforts are becoming part of the National Resources Repository (NRR) and are expected to be made available to the community through NNRMS portal.
Will public-private collaboration be possible between NRSC and private organisations?
We are aware that with the advent of high resolution satellite data being available and many infrastructure projects being implemented, many private industries are involved in geospatial projects. As per the Remote Sensing Data Policy (RSDP), NRSC is the single window delivery system for disseminating all types of satellite data and we have already been working in association with many private organisations in public-private collaboration mode as partner institutes for executing our user projects in different forms i.e. from data collection, digitization, and attribution to map production. However, depending on the sensitivity of the data, various possibilities are being explored including the arrangement of wet leasing facility in our campus.
How do you see the present remote sensing data market in India?
Remote sensing data market in India is very encouraging, with the use in public good services providing many opportunities for both industry and academia to work together with ISRO. India has major challenge on her hand in the coming years to cope up with issues such as food security & poverty alleviation, natural resources assets building, infrastructure building (both physical and social) weather & climate monitoring, and disaster management. All these need remote sensing and GIS inputs. We have already planned a series of thematic services of satellites for land and water resources management, weather & climate; and cartographic studies. So the coming days will see NRSC along with other ISRO centres taking up increased responsibilities in all these areas encompassing cartography to climate studies with enhanced emphasis on knowledge products services with quantitative remote sensing inputs. We do expect enhanced introduction of ICT products with multimedia application in the coming days with a host of remote sensing satellites providing multitude of inputs across the spectrum, and NRSC will be there in the forefront of these activities.