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Geotech – Securing nation’s borders

New Delhi, India: The second day of the annual defence conference-cum-exhibition, GeoIntelligence Asia 2012, saw experts debate over a range of issues like internal security, maritime security, etc.

GIS for internal security 

 “Internal security involves protection of people, infrastructure and economy,” said Richard Sundharam, General Manager – Defence, Esri India, adding, “Data management, planning and analysis, field/ mobile operations and situational awareness are important for internal security.”

Brig XP Adrianwala, Chief of Corporate Infrastructure, Services and Group Security, Mahindra and Mahindra, India, spoke about the importance of human terrain analysis. He also stressed upon the need to have a common National Geospatial Information System for all organisations.

Speaking  next, Brig Rohit Kapoor, Chief Engineer (P) Vartak, Border Road Organisation (BRO), India, introduced audience to BRO. Talking about the peculiarities of road construction in mountains, he described logistics and remoteness of areas as some of the major challenges before the organisation.

He was followed by Sanjay Sahay, Inspector General of Police, Karnataka Police, India, who spoke about the importance of geospatial technology for homeland security.

Later, Umesh Kumar, Divisional Director, Enterprise GIS and Defense Solutions, Rolta, India, explained the relevance of spatial information in homeland security and presented the case study of how Rolta’s solutions are helping Abu Dhabi police in carrying out their duties effectively.

The session was chaired by Lt Gen S Ravishankar, Director General, Border Road Organisation, India.

Maritime security

 “If we want to prevent the repetition of 26/11 attacks in India, there’s a need to develop solutions for tracking of smaller vessels,” said SS Yadav, Director Mumbai, Lighthouse and Lightships, Ministry of Shipping, Government of India. He talked about how AIS (Automatic Identification System) is helping track vessel in ocean and spoke in-length about India’s National AIS.

He was followed by Andy Stephenson, Senior regional Director Sales, Asia, GeoEye, Singapore, who explained how satellite imagery is aiding in maritime domain awareness (MDA).

“To augment the Maritime Situational Awareness and Coastal surveillance infrastructure, CAIR has developed MDA system for Indian Navy. It is also developing Coastal Surveillance and Decision Support System (CSDSS) as part of Integrated Coastal Surveillance System (ICSS),” said Vinay Agarwal, Scientist D, Centre of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), India. Explaining the role of GIS in these systems, he said, “GIS is a crucial component of any maritime system (MDA and CSDSS) since it enables the user to view the COP, assess the current operational scenario, grasp the situation and quickly act upon it.”

The session was chaired by Vice Admiral Pradeep Kaushiva, Director, National Maritime Foundation, India.

Emerging Trends

Human Terrain Analysis (HTA) and cloud are increasingly gaining popularity among the defence forces. This appeared to be the conclusion of the last session of the event which was chaired by Lt Gen NB Singh, Director General EME, Indian Army.

“The objective of human terrain mapping is to provide local commanders and staff with an understanding of local population,” said Sanjay Agarwalla, Chief Executive Officer, Integrated Digital Systems, India, who spoke about the importance of socio-cultural awareness. Talking about the challenges of human terrain mapping, especially in India, he said, “India poses several challenges in this field given its diversity.” He then spoke about the social media and the need to derive meaningful information from it.

ArcGIS is now a complete cloud enabled platform empowered with capabilities so that GIS and image processing can work together as a single solution for advanced intelligence analysis. Kurt Schwoppe, Federal Sales Manager for Imagery Solutions, Esri, USA, in his presentation spoke about how GIS fused with advanced geospatial intelligence (AGI) extends imagery exploitation beyond visualisation and feature extraction and provides detailed situational awareness and predictive modelling analysis.

“A SMART GIS is the perfect GIS to connect and equip all users with the power of geography,” said Ashish Arora, Asst Manager – Enterprise Solutions (Security, Government and Infrastructure), Intergraph, India. Talking about the advantages of Cloud, he said that desktop or web mapping applications are unable to meet all the requirements of its users.

Lon Cornell, Manager International Programs, TerraGo Technologies, USA, spoke about the growing need to share georeferenced maps, imagery, audio, video, Web services and other information among defence establishments. Talking about their product, GeoPDF, Cornell said, “These tools give the Army (US Army) the ability to produce better ‘looking’ mission specific products that are easier to view by the non-mappers as well.”

The theme for the two-day event is “Building a credible geointelligence infrastructure for defence and internal security”. The sixth edition of Geointelligence Asia 2012 is being organised in collaboration with ISSA, SASE, DTRL, CAIR, DEAL (Knowledge partners) and CRPF and ITBPF (supporting organisation).

Source: Our Correspondent