‘Explore RS potential in geology, environment’

‘Explore RS potential in geology, environment’

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Bangalore, India: As India celebrates and reflects on 25 years of its remote sensing satellite launch, it is also an opportune time to look ahead in terms of technology, science and applications over the next 10-12 years, observed a panel on the second day of the symposium “Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) Series: A Saga of 25 Years.”

Prof. SM Ramaswamy, Vice Chancellor, Gandhigram Rural Institute – Deemed University, India expressed that the state governments still have a long way to go in capitalizing on the virtues that are available. Giving a geology standpoint, he said that use of remote sensing in geology is mainly for mineral exploration, whereas it has much more potential in geology which is about totally understanding the earth system dynamics. For example, the river system has not been studied comprehensively. Water quantification, geothermal resource exploration and landslide forewarning are other such areas.

Dr. GVS Subramanyam, Advisor, MoEF, observed that the potential of remote sensing is enormous as far as environment is concerned. Remote sensing can be used to monitor quality of water, soil and air and for environmental impact assessment. The need for environmental monitoring is urgent, before the environment deteriorates any further, since nature and human beings are closely intertwined with each other. However the data has to be fast, reliable and verified, then only it can be put to use. He proposed a dedicated satellite to generate environmental data.

AS Kiran Kumar, Director, Space Applications Centre (SAC) shared the emphasis on incorporating users’ perspectives while planning the requirements for the 13th Five Year Plan. He added that even as technological innovations are made and current capabilities enhanced, what is required is more and more participation from users in it. A lot of modeling activities need to be done. Dr. VK Dhadwal, President Indian Society for Remote Sensing, stressed on the need to develop capacities that can monitor foreign resources. He too identified addressing air quality as a gap.

Dr. RR Navalgund, Prof. Vikram Sarabhai Professor, ISRO, asserted that stakeholders need to continue to be put in front and the needs of each stakeholder to be met. He stressed on the optimum utilisation of resources. According to him, there has to be a commitment for continuity of products and services unless they become completely obsolete for users. We cannot afford to have any gaps in this area. Another area highlighted by him was early warning systems. He said that early warning systems have not reached a level of maturity. This requires certain kind of sensors and the research community needs to be sensitive to this aspect. He also stressed on enhancing the microwave remote sensing. While optical remote sensing is doing very well, there is a need to give more emphasis to microwave remote sensing and make it more sustainable. Further, he opined that the various remote sensing systems in the world need to be interoperable. A single country cannot develop all the systems that are required. There is a need for international co-operation, in building together interoperable satellites. Finally, he said, we cannot neglect aerial remote sensing.

Source: Our Correspondent