India: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed an agreement with Andhra Pradesh govt. for using geospatial technologies in state governance and development. These MoUs were signed in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar.
Although, the state is already using inputs from ISRO in various applications, the MoUs ensure the commitment to get help from ISRO in further extending these applications.
The first MoU was signed to provide experimental meteorological services to the state. The Andhra Pradesh Varuna app for Android smartphones was launched on the occasion. Varuna is the Indian God of water. The application uses a large number of ground-based radio stations and weather forecasting services by Isro, to deliver an accurate and up to date platform for weather information to the end user. The twenty four-hour forecast is updated every six hours.
The second MoU was signed for the provision of disaster management services. Inputs from the various earth observation and meteorological satellites would be combined with data from the ground based National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad to provide Disaster Management Support (DMS) to the state. Data from the field will be combined with near real time inputs to monitor forest fires, cyclones, floods, earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis.
The third MoU was signed for the use of Isro technologies to keep track of the natural resource of water across the state. The state and the space agency have agreed to collaborate on a web based geoportal, AP State Water Resources Information and Management System (APWRIMS). The APWRIMS will host all the spatial and non spatial data on water resources in the state. The inventory of water in the state will be maintained with inputs from satellites and validation models.