Satellite Data Acquisition, Processing And Dissemination

The Naponal Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Hyderabad, continues to receive remote sensing data from the Indian satellites, IRSIC, IRSlO, IRSPS, IRSP4 and the TES as well as the US NOAA14, Landsat5 and European ERS2. The Data Reception Station (ORS) of NRSA at Shadnagar, has been further augmented to receive data from TRSP5 (CARTOSAT) and IRSP6 (RESOURCESAT).

Aerial Remote Sensing: NR5A operates two aircraft that have been modified for multi sensor operation with high performance work station and digital photogrammetry system to generate data products. Aerial remote sensing services provided by NRSA is availed by several agencies for aerial photography, mapping, infrastructure planning, aeromagnetic surveys,large scale base maps and topographic and cadastral mapping. Some of the aerial surveys carried out include aerial photography of nine towns of Gujarat that were affected by the earthquake in January 2001, twenty seven towns in Andhra Pradesh, seven districts in Madhya Pradesh, three towns of Rajasthan, Bangalore peripheral areas and flood affected areas of Orissa. Low altitude flightR for airborne geophysical survey for Atomic Mineral Division and nights carrying Synthetic Aperture Radar have also been carried out.

Re mote Sensing Data Policy: The Govcrnmen~ has announced, a Remote Sensing Data Policy (RSDP) in order to streamline the availability of remote sensing data from Indian and foreign satellites to users in India. As per the RSDP. Government's permission will be required for operating remote sensing satellites in India and for distribution of satellite images in India.The NRSA, Hyderabad, will be the national acquisition and distribution aeeney for all satellite data within India. NRSA can enter into agreements for distribution of data from foreign satellite in India. Antrix Corporation, the commercial agency under the Department of Space, will license the use of IRS capacities outside India. The announcement of RSDP is an important step towards making transparent. the procedures of satellite data distribution, including those from highresolution imaging systems. I t would help to regulate the process of image distribution so that Indian users are not denied access to valuable satellite based imageries, which can be used in the development of natural resources.

Remote Sensing Applications: Space-based remote sensing, because of its synoptic and repetitive coverage of large areas as well as providing data in a quantifiable manner has enabled monitoring and assessment of various natural resources. Today space based remote sensing is used for several areas of resources, survey and management. Projects of national relevance in different application themes are being carried out with the involvement of user agencies at central and state levels. Some of the major applications to which remote sensing is being used in the country are highlighted in the following paragraphs.

Crop Acreage llnd Production Estimation (CAPE): CAPE was initiated in 1995 with the sponsorship of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. Under this project, multidate lRS satellite data are used for pre-harvest acreage and production estimation for major food crops as well as cotton. The estimates are provided far kharif rice in Bihar. rabi dee in Orissa, mustard in Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and West Bengal, wheat in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and sorghum in Maharashtra.

FASAL: Based on the success of CAPE. an enlarged and comprehensive scheme known as Forecasting Agricultural output using Space, Agrometeorology and Land based observations (FASAL) bas been taken up. FASAL now covers kharif rice in Orissa as a pilot project as well as forecasting kharif rice production at the national level. It is proposed to set up a FASALNCCF (National Centre for Crop Forecasting) under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture.

DroughtAssessmentand Monitoring: Based on the data collected by the satellites on the vegetation indices and ground based information, fortnightly bulletins on crop conditions depicting ag,ricultural drought are being issued for eleven slates, and at sub district level for sb: stales during kharifseason. Flood Mapping: The Flood Mapping. using satellite imageries are being undertaken since 1987 to help Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and State Relief Agencies and Central Water Commission. Under this, flood prone river basins of Brahmaputra, Kosi, Ganga, Indus, Godavari and Mahanadi are covered and near real time inundation and damage estimation maps are generated.

Forest Monitoring: The Forest Survey of India carries out the forest cover mapping on 1:250,000 scale on a biennial basis. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Mo.harashtra have used satellite based dala for preparation of forest working plans. A biodiversity characterisation at landscape level has also been taken up in four regions of the country, namely, NorthEastern Himalaya, Western Himabya, Western Ghats and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The activities related to preparation ofbiome level ecological zone maps and topographical details are nearing completion. The project is being undertaken with the sponsorship of the Department of Biotechnology. A few medicinal plant colonies in the Himalayas like Hyppophae rhamnoides, Ephedra gerardiana and Taxus baccata have been mapped.

Irrigatron Command Areas: Under the sponsorship of the Central Water Commission, 14 large irrigated commands covering five states (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal) extending to an area of 3.12 Mha (million hectare) have been taken up for monitoring using satellite data. So far evaluation of seven command areas has been completed.

Snow-melt Run-otl'Prediction: Forecasting and monitoring of Snow-melt Run-off for the Satellite River Basin is being carried out since 1994 with the sponsorship of Bhakra-Beas Management Board. The forecast is made every year by the first week of April, which is further updated subsequently.

Integrated Land and Water Resources Development: Generation of data for Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development (IMSD) for 84 Mha area covering 175 districts located in 28 States have been completed and similar work has been extended to Koraput- Bolangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region of Orissa. The Department of Land Resources under the Ministry of Rural Development is now working towards institutionalising IMSD for implementation.

Wasteland Mapping: The Wasteland Mapping has been carried out in five phases during 1986-2000 on a 1:50,000 scale under the sponsorship of the Department of Land Resources under the Ministry of Rural Development.

13 categories of wastelands in three broad categories have been identified - (A) Barren rockylsheet rock.; (B) Gullied areal ravines; and (C) Minmglindustrial wastelands. A wasteland atlas of India has been generated and the information is used for planning several developmental programmes. A digital data base is also now being created . National Drinking Watel' Mission: Under the sponsorship of the Department of Drinking Water of the Ministry of Rural Development, maps showing prospective zones of ground water occurrence and recharge are being prepared on 1:50,000 scale ill six states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Kerala and Rajasthan). So far 930 maps have been prepared out of the 1800 maps required. The maps are integrated with GIS data base and identify areas and sites for locating borewells. Coastal Studies: Information on Coastal wet lands, land forms, land use, shore line changes, etc, have been mapped on 1:250,00011 :50,000 scales for the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Coral reef maps on 1:50,000 scale for Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Palk's Bay, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar islands have been generated. Mapping of features between High Tide Line (HTL) nnd Low Tide Line (LTL) and land use feaLures for a strip of 500 m from HTL, on 1:25,000 scale, under Coastal Regulation Zone has also been carried out. The maps are used for preparing coastal zone management plans and for formulating regulations on construction along HTL. Use ofIRS-P4 (OCEANSAT) Data: An endto- end task of using IRSP4 data for oceanographic, marine-atmospheric and coastal environmental applications has been taken up. Several agencies like Department of Ocean Development, Indian Meteorological Department, National Institute of Oceanography, Central Ma.rine Fisheries Research Institute, etc., besides several State Departments are participating in this task. The Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM) of IRS-P4 provides data on Chlorophyll distribution and primary productivity for locating potential fish zones, sea surface velocities,suspended sediment movement, coastal landforms, coral reefs, etc. The Multi-frequency Scanning Microwave Radiometer (MSMR) on board the satellite provides data on humidity over oceans, water vapour content, winds, rain rate, fluxes, sea ice, etc.

Disaster Management: Landslide Hazard Zonation (LHZ) Mapping: Landslide Hazard Zonation (LHZ) mapping on 1:25,000 scale is being carried out for all major pilgrim and tourist routes in the Himalayan region in Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh. Database has been created for the entire 2000 km long corridor and LHZ maps have been prepared. The routes covered include: RishikeshRudraprayag- Chamoli-Badrinath, RishikeshGaumukh, Rudraprayag-OkhimathKe darnath ,Chamoli-Okhimath and Pithoragarh-Malpa, all in Uttarancha1; ShimlaManali, Shimla-Sumdo and Dalhousie-Brahmaur in Himachal Pradesh. The maps are used by State Public Works Departments (PWD), Border Roads Organisation and some NOOs. Gujarat Earthquake: The space based imagery along with aerial remote sensing provided inputs to the Gujarat State Administration during the Earthquake in January 2001 in terms of locating the worst affected towns, to assess the changes in the terrain features and damage assessment. The satellite news gathering terminal was also moved from the Space Applications Centre and set up at Bhuj which was the only link till February 2, 2001 to co-ordinate rescue and relief operation.

National (Natural) kesources Information System: A spatial information infrastructure organised around GIS for facilitating developmental planning and decision making at DistrictJStatelNational level is being implemented for the Planning Authorities. Already NRIS has been implemented for 30 districts and four state nodes. The NRrs comprises 22 spatial layers and 8 non-spatial layers pertaining to natural resources as well as socio-economics.

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