Satellite imaging technology has several potential public sector applications that could help the development process of any country, according to India’s National Remote Sensing Centre Deputy Director Dr. P.G. Diwakar.
Potential applications include agriculture, transport, navigation, environmental protection, resource mapping, meteorology, disaster management and surveying.
“India has used satellite imaging technology to improve national and regional level planning across several sectors through improved information availability. In the field of infrastructure development in Bangalore, several projects have been carried out using satellite imaging with multiple layers of information and allowing growth to be systematic,” Dr. Diwakar observed.
He made the comments in an address to the CEO’s Forum on Space Technology Applications for National Development, organised by the Arthur C. Clarke Institute, yesterday.
The forum was organised with a view to promoting awareness of space technology applications that have now become more freely available with the proliferation of Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems and Global Navigation Satellite Systems.
Further illustrating some of the applications of space technology utilized by India, Dr. Diwakar presented satellite imagery depicting the aftermath of last June’s devastating floods in the Western Himalayas’ region.
“Using this technology, the Indian government was able to gain a better understanding of the damage caused by floods through comprehensive satellite imaging of areas that are otherwise highly inaccessible,” he noted.
Highlighting further Indian success stories, Dr. Diwakar stated that satellite imaging was also being utilized to direct Indian fishermen towards areas of higher fish populations through analysis of chlorophyll concentrations in the water and other related factors.
Meanwhile, in the agricultural sector, he stated that Indian satellites were being used to track and estimate yields, helping to improve responsiveness in the sector.
“Satellite imaging is able to tell different crops apart and while also keeping track of other relevant information. This helps the government to respond to shortages and similar issues and I see several potential applications of kind of technology for Sri Lanka,” Dr. Diwakar stated.
Currently, Sri Lanka has one communications satellite, SupremeSAT-1, which was launched into geo-stationary orbit over the island in November 2012 on board China’s Long March 3B/E Launch Vehicle from the Xi-chang Satellite Launch Centre.