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ISRO aims to double remote sensing business

India has set a target to double its business in the global remote sensing space within three years, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G Madhavan Nair said recently. “My reading is that 15 per cent of the (remote sensing) market is with us now. We have got Resourcesat and Cartosat. We should be able to at least double this business within the next three years,” Madhavan Nair told newspersons recently. The size of the global remote sensing market is estimated to be 30-40 million US dollars. Nair also said that ISRO’s marketing arm Antrix Corporation has been growing by 25 per cent annually for the last two years. “The volume of business (of Antrix) is increasing. This year’s revenue (of Antrix) was close to Rs 390 crore”, he added. The number of satellite-based village resource centres — which give villagers information on weather, agriculture and drought management, among others — in the country is close to 100 now and the number is expected to go up to 250 by March-end, he said. Nair further said that since ISRO has to address societal benefits also, he thinks a commercial model for the space agency would not work “very well”. “Being a government department, we have to have a mixed model; the present model seems to be quite adequate”. Direct and indirect returns from ISRO is three times the investment made into it during the last 30 years, he said.