In India, space technology has emerged as a vital driver of scientific progress and socioeconomic growth. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been at the forefront of utilising space technology for a wide range of applications, including communication, weather forecasting, navigation, and remote sensing.
India has effectively used space technology to address crucial difficulties in sectors such as agriculture, disaster management, urban planning, and natural resource management, with a focus on innovation and indigenous development.
Satellite Communication Applications
- A fleet of commercial communication satellites with communication transponders in C-band, Extended C-band, Ku-band, and S-band is operating over India. These transponders are used to support services such as television, telephony, radio networking, strategic communication, and societal applications.
- The transponders are widely used by BSNL, Doordarshan, All India Radio, strategic government users, public sector units, private VSAT operators, DTH and TV operators, banking and financial institutions, and others.
- ISRO/DOS has sponsored societal applications including Telemedicine, Tele-education, and Disaster Management Support (DMS) Programmes, which are exclusively national development-oriented and aim to meet specific needs at various strata of society
- INSAT satellites have typically been used to support telecommunication applications such as voice and data transmission. Satellite links are the major means of connectivity to the country’s remote and far-flung regions, as well as backup links for a huge number of terrestrial connections on the mainland.
- The hub serves as a gateway to external connectivity and multiple application servers. Rapid technological breakthroughs and lower user equipment costs are expanding the appeal of VSAT networks.
- A VSAT network is a less expensive option for constructing a network that covers a large geographical area, whether state-wide or nationwide. VSAT networks use C, Extended C, and Ku-band frequencies.
- INSAT has played a significant role in expanding television coverage in India. DOS has made the necessary transponders accessible via INSAT/GSAT satellites and leased capacity to meet the needs of television service.
- Radio Networking: Radio Networking (RN) via INSAT delivers dependable high-fidelity programme channels for both national and regional networking. AIR is using one INSAT-3C C-band transponder to uplink RN carriers around the country.
- ISRO Telemedicine pilot project began in 2001 as part of a proof-of-concept demonstration effort, connecting Apollo Hospital in Chennai with the Apollo Rural Hospital in Aragonda village in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district. Telemedicine technology entailed an ICT-based system comprised of tailored medical software combined with computer hardware, as well as medical diagnostic tools linked to commercial VSAT at each location.
- The Telemedicine software is primarily comprised of store-and-forward modules for Tele-radiology, Tele-cardiology, and Tele-pathology, as well as a video-conferencing facility.
- As an ongoing/continuous activity, tech assistance is offered to interested hospitals for delivering Continuing Medical Education (CME); Hub operations are monitored, and all users are followed up with regularly to ensure optimal utilisation.
- ‘EDUSAT,’ India’s first thematic satellite dedicated solely to educational services, was extensively employed to support a wide range of interactive educational delivery modalities such as one-way TV transmission, video conferencing, computer conferencing, web-based instructions, and so on.
- EDUSAT had many goals, including supplementing curriculum-based teaching, providing effective teacher training, and providing access to quality resource persons and new technologies, with the ultimate goal of bringing education to every corner of India. EDUSAT provides connectivity to schools, universities, higher education levels, and non-formal education such as development communication.
- The EDUSAT Programme was launched in three stages: pilot, semi-operational, and operational. The EDUSAT program’s networks are made up of two types of terminals: Satellite Interactive Terminals (SITs) and Receive Only Terminals (ROTs).
- INSAT Meteorological Data Processing System (IMDPS) of India Meteorological Department (IMD) processes and disseminates INSAT meteorological satellite data. Weather forecasting services are currently supported by INSAT/GSAT satellites carrying meteorological payloads.
- IMDPS can receive and process data from all three geostationary meteorological satellites currently in operation. The system’s performance has been maintained at 98% operational efficiency (on a 24×365 basis). The system’s output is used for efficient and successful forecasting of large weather occurrences in the past, particularly severe cyclones.
- GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN): The implementation of GAGAN has numerous benefits for the aviation sector, including fuel savings, equipment cost savings, flight safety, increased air space capacity, efficiency, reliability enhancement, reduced workload for operators, coverage of the oceanic area for air traffic control, high position accuracy, etc.
- GAGAN is intended to deliver the following benefits to the Civil Aviation sector: Vertical navigation enhances safety in severe weather, reduces circling approaches, and offers environmental advantages by improving energy control during the final approach. It enables global seamless navigation for all flight stages, allowing direct routes, multiple approaches, fuel savings, and increased airport and airspace capacity.
- In addition to the aviation sector, GAGAN is projected to aid other industries such as:
o Enhancement of Navigation and Safety in Railways, Roadways, Ships, and Spacecraft
o Scientific Research for Atmospheric Studies
o Geographic Data Collection
o Location-based services, mobile, tourism
o Natural resource and land management.
- Remote sensing applications in India cover a wide range of industries. Agricultural management, water resource planning, forest monitoring, urban planning, disaster management, environmental monitoring, coastal zone management, and weather forecasting are some of the applications that use satellite data.
- For these goals, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) play critical roles in gathering, processing, and disseminating remote sensing data.
Disaster Management Support
- In India, satellites are used for early warning systems, damage assessment, communication, geospatial information systems, forest fire detection, and landslide/earthquake monitoring, and space technology plays an important part in disaster management.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed and implemented satellite-based technologies that provide rapid warnings, damage assessment, communication facilitation, and essential information for response and recovery efforts. These applications improve disaster preparedness, response coordination, and disaster effect reduction in affected communities.