A state-of-the-art Oceansat-2 ground station was inaugurated on Monday by Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) here.

The Department of Space and INCOIS established the ground station to receive and process data from Ocean Colour Monitor on-board the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Oceansat-2 in real time.

The Oceansat-2 ground station, fitted with a 7.5 m diameter antenna, could cover an area of 5,000 km diameter circle, covering the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, a note issued by INCOIS on the occasion said.

The ground station consists of various sub-systems like antenna and feed system, radio frequency and tracking, base band, automation, modulation and de-modulation systems, direct archival and quick—look browsing and Oceansat data production generation system.

INCOIS said, the 7.5 meter diameter antenna system at the new ground station could also be used to receive data from satellites launched by ISRO in the future study of oceans.

The chlorophyll data received from OCM at the ground station would be integrated with Sea Surface Temperature from NOAA satellites for providing the Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisory services.

The PFZ advisories generated by INCOIS using Oceansat-2 data advise fishermen on the optimal locations for fishing.

INCOIS said an estimated 65,000 users regularly access the PFZ service, thereby benefiting by 60-70 per cent reduction in search time for fish shoals and 2-3 times increase in net profit.

“The recent study, carried out by National Council of Applied Economic Research, on the socio—economic benefits of PFZ advisory services and ocean state forecasts, has estimated the net annual benefits to be in the range of Rs 34,000 to Rs 50,000 crore due to scientific identification of PFZs based on satellite information,” INCOIS said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan, Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences Shailesh Nayak, Incois director Satheesh Shenoi and other officials were present on the occasion.