GeoIntelligence India 2013: Defence experts call for geospatial framework, new applications

GeoIntelligence India 2013: Defence experts call for geospatial framework, new applications

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Admiral D.K. Joshi, Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy addresses the gathering at the GeoIntelligence India Conference 2013 in New Delhi.

There is a need to harness the potent ial of geospat ial information by developing applications in the military domain, said Admiral D.K. Joshi, Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy. Timely availability, integrity and security of information are the major challenge for the security agencies, according to him. Admiral Joshi was speak ing at the sevent h edition of the annual defence conferencecum-ex hibition, GeoIntelligence India 2013, held in New Delhi recently.

Lt Gen Anil Chait, GOC-in-C, Central Command, Indian Army, called for a geospatial framework for the country while acknowledging that geospatial technology was a great facilitator of network-centric operations, both at the operational and tactical level. However, to facilitate and support such a framework, India needed a national communication network that can leverage on a national information grid to harness national power, he added.


A confluence of Indian Army, Navy and Air Force at the conference.

The two-day GeoIntelligence India 2013, one of the major defence meets in the country focusing on the use and application of geospatial technology in defence and internal security, was based on the theme, ‘Geospatial – Force Multiplier for Modern Warfare’. The panel of speakers comprised top military, industry, and policy makers, while the exhibition showcased cuttingedge technological solutions for security matters.

China’s aggressive posturing against India necessitates review of security implications of our space assets and development of space weapons to protect them,” said Gp Capt R.K. Singh, IAF, Senior Research Fellow, United Service Institution of India. He discussed the increasing Chinese military capabilities in space and its implications for India.

There was no excuse for taking a wrong decision citing the lack of information at the right time, said Kaushik Chakraborty, Vice President, Hexagon India, while giving the industry perspective. “In this period of transition and partnerships, it is important to take advantage of the legacy systems, work on them to build new platforms with the right use of technology,” he added.

Brig (Dr) Arun Sahgal (Retd), Director, Forum for Strategic Initiative, deliberated upon militarisation versus weaponisation. Calling space ‘the new frontier,’ he said militarisation of space implies developing and deploying assets in space for providing early warning, communications, command and control, position navigation and timing and monitoring remote sensing, and national technical means; and is aimed at enhancing military command, control and communications, strategic and battlefield surveillance and weapons targeting.

S. Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary — Centre States, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India (GoI), discussed the initiatives taken by the government in implementing GIS in crime analytics. Visualisation of geo-enabled crime data is the need of the hour, he said.

Discussing exploitation of geointelligence in the Indian operational environment, Brig Rahul Bhonsle (Retd), Director Security Risks Asia, mulled on the creation of a national agency for geospatial intelligence. He said the key enablers included the commander’s understanding of geoint potential, the geoint-enabled OODA (observe, orient, decide and act) loop, understanding of terrain and restrictions of geoint.

Wg Cdr Satyam Kushwaha, National Security Council Secretariat, underlined the need for a 3D system capable of handling all kinds of maps, something that is designed for Indian conditions and can be used by all the three forces. “But most importantly, what is required is that we should know how to use this technology,” he added.

Talking about the IED challenge being faced by security agencies throughout the world, Prof Subrahmanian introduced the audience to the new field of ‘geospatial abduction,’ in which geospatial technology is being used to predict locations of IED weapons caches and/ or high value targets (HVTs) associated with IED attacks.

Dr Narayan Panigrahi, Scientist ‘F’, Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, discussed the robust computational techniques for computation of geospatial data registered temporally and geometrically. The areas in which these techniques can be used include coordinates, map projections, space visualisation of earth, multiplicity in GIS, image registration, GIS as a platform for sensors, data integration, and cross country mobility map generation.

Brig AS Nagra (Retd) discussed the promises and problems in network-centric warfare. According to him, challenges that need to be addressed, include overestimating human capacity, underestimation of enemy’s capabilities, situational awareness being neither sufficient nor necessary for self sync, and so on.

Anil Pant, Sr DGM (D&E/NCS), BEL, elaborated on how situational awareness can be ensured through network-centric operations. The fundamental requirement in such a scenario is that the right information should be delivered to the right place at the right time.


People thronging the exhibition area at the Conference.

Organised by Geospatial Media and Communications, the conference was held in New Delhi on June 13-14 and was attended by a host of defence experts and various stakeholders working in the area of geointelligence.