The first Indian Remote Sensing Satellite, IRS-1A, was launched on March 17, 1988. Various user groups gathered under the Indian Society of Remote Sensing are reminiscing about and celebrating the landmark event at a symposium here. Today the Indian Space Research Organisation has 10 of its remote-sensing satellites orbiting the Earth and sending down imagery by the minute.

At the inauguration of the two-day meet on Saturday, ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said that from a camera resolution of 36 metres, IRSs had graduated through a world best of 5.8 metres in the mid-1990s to a second best of 80 cm in mapping specific Cartosat-2A today. “Remote sensing has become the backbone of planning in ministries and to monitor and manage natural resources.”

The former ISRO Chairmen, U.R. Rao and K. Kasturirangan, recalled the early days of the remote sensing programme from a shed at Peenya here.

The event is sponsored by the Indian Society of Geomatics, the Indian Meteorological Society, the Indian National Cartographers’ Association, the Astronautical Society of India and the Space Society of Mechanical Engineers.