DMPQ- “India’s remote sensing satellite system has important role in it’s development.” Elucidate.

IRS-1A, the first of the series of indigenous state-of-art operating remote sensing satellites, was successfully launched into a polar sun-synchronous orbit on March 17, 1988 from the Soviet Cosmodrome at Baikonur. The successful launch of IRS-1A was one of the proudest moments for the entire country, which depicted the maturity of satellite to address the various requirements for managing natural resources of the nation.

Apart from meeting the general requirements, definition of IRS missions based on specific thematic applications like natural resources monitoring, ocean and atmospheric studies and cartographic applications resulted in the realisation of theme based satellite series, namely, (i) Land/water resources applications (RESOURCESAT series and RISAT series); (ii) Ocean/atmospheric studies (OCEANSAT series, INSAT-VHRR, INSAT-3D, Megha-Tropiques and SARAL); and (iii) Large scale mapping applications (CARTOSAT series).

IRS-1A development was a major milestone in the IRS programme. On this occasion of 30 years of IRS-1A and fruitful journey of Indian remote sensing programme, it is important to look back at the achievements of Indian Space Programme particularly in remote sensing applications, wherein India has become a role-model for the rest to follow.  Significant progress continued in building and launching the state-of-the-art Indian Remote Sensing Satellite as well as in operational utilisation of the data in various applications to nation.

Today, the array of Indian Earth Observation (EO) Satellites with imaging capabilities in visible, infrared, thermal and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, including hyper-spectral sensors, have helped the country in realising major operational applications. The imaging sensors have been providing spatial resolution ranging from 1 km to better than 1m; repeat observation (temporal imaging) from 22 days to every 15 minutes and radiometric ranging from 7 bit to 12 bit, which has significantly helped in several applications at national level.

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