The Indian state Chandigarh is set to have its first satellite earth receiving station. The Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE), a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is establishing a centre here to download high-resolution imagery of the earth. The centre will become functional in about six months time. This will be the first satellite earth receiving station in this region. At present, SASE is procuring images from the National Remote Sensing Agency’s (NRSA) Dehradun centre for avalanche forecasting and research and development programmes. With the centre becoming functional images of the terrain and snow cover will be available on a daily basis. At present, SASE gets images on a periodic basis. Besides, SASE has to pay for images it procures for its research and development programmes, which will be done away.
SASE, which came into existence in1969 is involved in avalanche forecast and mitigation, study of snow cover, mountain meteorology and training troops to operate in snow-bound areas. It is using images downloaded from IRS-1C, IRS-1D and the P-6 Resource satellites. The P-6 has advanced high resolution sensors, developed in collaboration with the Space Application Centre, which overcome the technical shortcomings of sensors in earlier satellites. The setting up of the earth receiving centre here comes in the backdrop of increasing use of remote sensing techniques for avalanche forecast and meteorology as vast stretches of snow-bound areas remain inaccessible for human monitoring. Further, remote sensing can cover vast stretches and provide repetitive, multi-spectral, synoptic and uniform observations.