Automation, integration need of the hour to take advantage of data rush

Automation, integration need of the hour to take advantage of data rush

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Hyderabad, India: Increase in data volume must lead to automation of processes to make optimum use of data. “If you don’t respond fast, you have got another set of data coming in and you don’t know what to do with it,” said National Technical Research Organisation Director Dr R. Ramachandran.

Speaking on advance processing techniques in high resolution data at the NRSC Users’ Meet in Hyderabad, Dr Ramachandran said automation gave us the choice to make informed decisions.

Stating that data that couldn’t be fitted in to the terrain made our lives complex, Dr Ramachandran said geoprocessing was the most critical component part of data processing. “And if we don’t do it perfectly, we are passing on the trouble to someone else.” That is why integration of various sources of data was important.

NRSC has put in place an integrated multi-mission ground segment for earth observation satellites (IMGEOS) to minimise turnaround time from data acquisition to product delivery and to provide near real-time data for critical applications, said Dr D.R.M. Samudraiah, Deputy Director (SEDA), Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad. However, keeping with ISRO’s policy of facilitating national development, NRSC’s data pricing policy has been consumer friendly. From 2005 to present time, IRS data prices have come down by over three times. “We have become a service-oriented body. There were about 20,000 products up to 2006, and after that the product portfolio has gone up significantly.”

Dr Samudraiah added that utilisation of data from Resourcesat 2 and Cartosat was very high and data from Risat2 was also expected to go up considerably. Accepting that there is a high demand for high-resolution data, Dr Samudraiah said Cartosat 2E was expected to add datasets. Dr Samudraiah also listed out the list of satellites ISRO is planning to launch in the coming years.

Earlier in the day, Dr V. Bhanumurthy, Project Director (NDEM) and GD (Disaster Management Support Programme), talked of how satellite data helped in disaster management and support system. “Landslides in the northern part of the country, cyclones in southern India or droughts in central India or floods in the major rivers, we need is information to address such disasters, take scientific decisions and mitigate the problems. We require a domain model for forecast or for assessment or for forewarning. And there is a mechanism to all this.”

Adding that technological advancements in this country can play a great role in this process, he said the Indian government had focussed its attention on how to adopt these technologies – remote sensing, GIS, GPS or LiDAR technology – for disaster management. “Each technology had their advantages and we have to take advantages of each technology and complement them with others.”

“Remote sensing has a tremendous potential in this field. What type of data we need to address depends on the type of disaster – where the cyclone will hit, buildings that are being damaged, the extent of damage on agriculture land because of drought. We have data from 1 km up to few centimetres to address such problems,” he said, adding satellite data gave us real-time data on which areas were being affected, how many villages were under water and for how long, and helped save lives and property. ISRO has developed a hazard zonation of Assam, which is available online.

He pointed out that at present, there were only three disaster forecasting systems – for floods, cyclones and tsunami and rest of the disasters people had to face when the event occurred. “We need to work towards developing forewarnings for other emergencies like earthquakes and on disasters alert systems.”

Dr Anees Lattikar of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services spoke on the extensive use of remote sensing data for operational work at INCOIS. He said INCOIS, which provided ocean information and advisory, used RS data for services such as fishing zone advisory, ocean and coastal weather advisory, coastal vulnerability indices etc and some other value-added services.

INCOIS also uses RS data for mapping India’s coastline and the coastal change in Laskwadweep Island. All these coastal studies go as inputs for the tsunami inundation model.

Dr Raj Kumar of Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad, demonstrated how satellite data was used in weather and climate model – for seasonal forecast to short and medium term forecast. He also said INSAT 3D would have a sounder for the first time which would give much more accurate data for improved weather forecast as it would catch humidity in every layer of the atmosphere.

While C.A Prabhakar, Study Director (Carto-3), ISAC, spoke on small satellites, Dr A. Senthil Kumar, GD, GSP, NRSC talked of new initiatives in geophysical products. There were also a number of presentations on microwave data processing and applications.

Source: Our Correspondent