K R Sridhara Murthi
Antrix Corporation Limited
The world is moving towards producing very high resolution imagery (even sub-metre). How is the uptake and application of this imagery?
Military and national security applications still account for the majority of commercial satellite data consumption, but a vast civilian industry has also emerged. Initially these defence applications, have created and nurtured the demand for higher and higher resolutions. Traditionally, natural resource and environment did not demand very high resolution imagery unlike mapping and urban development, but now these applications are empowered by the use of high resolution data. We are now witnessing the potential of high-resolution satellite imagery to address problems of managing our communities, our natural resources and environment. At present, India has two high resolution satellites Cartosat-1 and Cartosat-2 serving the global community. India’s high resolution uptake is also increasing and showing good growth and global demand for India’s Cartosat missions is also increasing. In the 11th Five Year Plan period, ISRO envisages development of very high resolution systems such as Cartosat-3 and Cartosat-4.
What would be the most conducive environment for better uptake? What do you expect from the user community?
The most conducive environment for better uptake of data will be to enable easy access of those data at affordable prices. With increasing number of satellites coming into operation in this segment, the turn-aroundtime can also be expected to be better. Further, with better weather models, it is possible to improve the efficiency of such satellites in terms of optimum utilisation. Better uptake can also be realised through effective use of the emerging new technologies in GIS, positioning and communication. Finally a well coordinated regulatory regime evolved through international cooperation can help the use of high resolution data in vital applications.
What in your view are the future trends in the use of very high resolution imagery?
In order to make the high resolution imagery friendly to the user community, a paradigm shift is necessary towards information centric approach rather than data-centric approach. The ever expanding Web-related technologies could help in delivering a wide spectrum of information services even to common people, leave alone tech-savvy users. High resolution data can be a main stay for sustaining and growing such a service.
There could also be growth of many service industries that could make use of the spatial data infrastructure created at central level to deliver services like change detection, agricultural monitoring and urban land use information.
What is your strategy to position Antrix as the leading imagery provider?
At present Antrix is one of the leading imagery providers, with constellation of remote sensing satellites in orbit. Our business model is a bit different from others. We sell not only through resellers but a large part of revenue comes from direct downlink of data from our satellites. Antrix has already been working with many strategic partners who have strong access to customers in different geographic regions. We have the largest network of channel partners across the globe with 22 ground stations and 20 resellers providing the IRS services. Antrix is also empowered to maintain the lead in the market through a rich menu of satellite systems planned by ISRO in the next few years. These not only enhance the resolution and spectral capabilities of data provided, but also the range of products that will incorporate both radar and optical data. Antrix has also taken initiative to contribute to the development of multi-sensor ground stations in collaboration with leading international industries. To improve the turn-around to the users, Antrix is taking advantage of downlinking at high latitude stations. All these initiatives take Antrix to position itself as one of the leading imagery providers in the global market.
What is the role that we ( GIS Development) can play in making geospatial community more aware (of market and technology trends)?
GIS development has been rendering invaluable service to remote sensing and GIS industry. First of all, this industry has been characterised by widespread diversity in terms of size, capabilities and resources.
There had been many issues, which came in the way of these enterprises to achieve their maximum potential. GIS Development had been instrumental in bringing the vital issues to the fore through high quality articles, reviews and information. Such a good feedback mechanism is of use to the industry as well as the user community. I wish GIS Development all the best in its endeavours.