11 December, 2014 Hyderabad, India: At the Plenary focusing on Operational Remote Sensing Applications, at the ISPRS TC VIII Mid Term Symposium and the Annual ISRS and ISG Conventions in Hyderabad, senior officials of from various user organisations shared the innovative applications created using satellite data provided by National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for a variety of purposes. The Plenary, chaired by Dr V Jayaraman, former Director of NRSC, had user experiences from domains like ocean monitoring, agriculture, state remote sensing agency, forest management and weather and climate domains.
Dr V Jayaraman, former Director of NRSC chaired the session that disucssed on innovative applications derived out of NRSC remote sensing data
Dr Jayaraman set the stage for the discussions by stating that rather than talking about operational applications, we have indeed institutionalised applications. He said that the significance of this session is to hear perspectives from users rather than remote sensing specialists. Applauding the efforts undertaken by professionals in ISRO and NRSC, Dr Jayaraman said that these professionals work hard to create data of good quality, but when this data is put in human context, it becomes knowledge and finally when the knowledge is applied in the field, it becomes wisdom. This process of evolving data to wisdom adds value to efforts of professionals from ISRO and NRSC.
As the first speaker for the day, Dr Satish Shenoy, Director, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) elucidated the role of remote sensing in operational ocean information services. In India, about 7 million people living along the coastline and Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar depend on fishing for their livelihood, besides its strong influence on weather and climate change / variability. Hence, understanding ocean and its state attains greater significance. In this regard, INCOIS uses RS data for measuring a number of ocean parameters like sea surface temperature, chlorophyll content, sea surface height and their respective anomalies in addition to bathymetry, temperature, wind velocity / direction etc. Private entrepreneurs have come forward to develop mobile applications and presently a majority of fishermen use them in India. This information is being disseminated in the local languages of fishermen. A survey of the economic benefits of the potential fishing zones, as carried out by the NCAER, NAIP-ICAR and MSSRF, revealed high benefit cost ratio. As per one estimate by NCAER the total profit of using this application is in the range of INR 34,000 – 50,000 crores. INCOIS is now in a position to share its knowledge and expertise with other countries and is undertaking a number of collaborations.
Dr M Rajeevan, Advisor, Ministry of Earth Sciences, shared the experience of Ministry of Earth Sciences in using satellite data as one of the main sources for prediction of weather and climate change. RS data is used for a number of weather/climate measurements like dry microdust index, sea surface temperature, aerosol levels, upper troposphere temperature, cyclone prediction, monsoon monitoring etc. Dr Rajeevan shared that since the year 2000, accuracies of prediction have been on the significant increase both in the northern and the southern hemispheres, mainly due to. the derivatives from satellite data. He expressed the need for higher spatial and vertical resolution data, better data assimilation methods and new observing systems that would improve the understanding of Physics for initialising models as well as for model validation purposes.