Jan 19, 2017

ISRO offers remote sensing services to fishermen to increase the catch

To help fishermen increase the volumes of quality fish, ISRO introduced remote sensing technology and navigation services. While remote sensing will be enabled by ISRO’s Oceansat-3, which will be launched this year, the latter will be facilitated by applying the services of the constellation of seven satellites under the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) to the Indian Railways.

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Fishing zones keep changing based on water temperatures at different depths of the ocean, which also determines the ocean colouring, he said. Wind factor plays a crucial role in distributing heat, which in turn makes or breaks marine habitats that attract fishermen.

Dr YVN Krishna Murthy, director of ISRO’s Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) said that Oceansat-3 Earth observation satellite will provide data on ocean colouring, sea surface temperatures as well as wind data via its scatterometer.

A scatterometer is a microwave radar sensor that measures the reflection produced while scanning the surface of the Earth from an aircraft or a satellite. The primary application of a space-borne scatterometer is to measure near-surface winds over the ocean.

Murthy said while India’s earlier satellites did not have this equipment, Oceansat-3 would be equipped with this. The addition of a scatterometer will provide the more crucial wind data, which when combined with ocean colouring and sea surface temperature data can help inform fishermen where the more productive fishing zones are located.

“Using the services of all the three equipment on-board the Oceansat-3 satellite, we will also be able to inform fishermen what kind of fish is available at what depth of the ocean,” he said.

With all seven satellites under the IRNSS up in space and operational, at least 11,563 unmanned railway crossings, which on an annual average claim about 7,000 deaths, can be made safer to bring down fatalities.

The Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC), is operational under the IRNSS; but primarily it was meant for safety in civil aviation, wherein aircraft received alerts on various aspects of potential threat, so pilots could avert those, Murthy said.

The same technology has been applied to trains to alert loco-drivers about an unmanned rail crossing coming up ahead.