Space technology aiding country’s development, says senior ISRO scientist in Mysuru

Dr. Roopa Venkatesh was speaking at the 14th science conference organised by the Karnataka Rajya Vignana Parishat (KRVP)

September 09, 2022 07:32 pm | Updated 07:32 pm IST - MYSURU

ISRO’s space technology is being harnessed for national development encompassing a wide gamut of fields spanning rural development and agriculture to communication besides defence. This is apart from the space exploration which is its forte while the spin off benefits have even percolated to the medical field. This was stated by ISRO scientist Dr. Roopa Venkatesh during the 14 th science conference organised by the Karnataka Rajya Vignana Parishat (KRVP) here on Friday.

The ISRO scientist ran through a series of benefits and civilian application of space science and research and said that the technologies developed were being harnessed for improving the quality of life and optimal resource utilisation.

She said the data being generated through ISRO’s slew of satellites was voluminous and artificial intelligence was being used to analyse it and ISRO was also training government employees as to how to interpret the satellite data.

Referring to MGNREGA programme, she said ISRO had tied up with the Government for providing satellite images of an area before project intervention followed by another on project completion. This data was being used by the concerned departments to analyse the progress of the work before issuing works completion certificate, the scientist added.

The satellite mapping and data was also used for studying agricultural tracts and command areas to provide relevant information for farmers. Similarly, satellite data were being used to help fishermen identify the potential area of harvest in the vast oceans and the processed data is available on the mobile apps. This has enabled the fishermen in coastal areas to improve their economy and there was a 40 per cent growth in their income, said Ms. Roopa.

Drawing attention to the progress made in weather forecast using satellite imageries, Ms. Roopa said there was a time when the country would report death of thousands of people due to cyclones every year. But with satellite imageries and data, the weather forecast has become more sophisticated and cyclones are not only detected from the time of their formation but also tracked. This enables the authorities to issue warning before hand and shift people to safer places. As a result, cyclone-related deaths are a thing of the past, the ISRO scientist pointed out.

Ms. Roopa also highlighted the development of Gagan (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) for air traffic management, the use of satellite data for heritage sites management across the country besides the spin off benefit of technology in the development of light-weight but durable artificial limbs.

The day 2 of the science conference also had a lecture on beauty of science which was delivered by Prof. S.M. Shivaprasad, a senior scientist and also Director, Karnataka State Higher Education Academy, Dharwad. Dwelling at length on key scientific discoveries and their applications in modern life, Dr.Shivaprasad said there was convergence of new technologies including biotechnology and artificial intelligence and the country should brace for the challenge lest it will regress to dependency on other countries.

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