ISRO to launch new satellites including Healthsat

BANGALORE: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launching many satellites including Healthsat for tele-medicine. Also figuring in the list are OceanSat II, Radar Imaging Satellite, Megha Tropiques and EDUSAT.


Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony of INTELEMEDINDIA 2005, ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair divulged ISRO's plans to launch Healthsat within four years. The communications satellite will be launched exclusively for health care so patients and doctors in remote rural areas could consult specialists in cities.

Nair said the organisation may accept help from private corporations to fund the project probably by the second half of this year. ISRO is also thinking of helping neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Myanmmar on their telemedicine projects.



At present, the existing satellite transponders serve 100 tele-health stations, including district hospitals and specialty hospitals around the country, next year 500 such stations would be served and in 2007 Nair expects about 1000 hospitals in the telemedicine loop. Within the next three to four years one exclusive satellite for the purpose of telemedicine would be needed, since the present satellite would not have the capacity to cater to these enhanced needs.

While addressing a seminar in Mangalore, ISRO chairman Dr. V Jayaraman announced that OceanSat II would be commissioned by 2006 and the Radar Imaging Satellite (RIS) and Megha Tropiques would be launched by 2008. A deeper study of the oceans and seas was essential since oceans control the weather, around 2.5 billion people across the globe lived on coastal belts and a sixth of the animal protein was derived from fish species.

EDUSAT or the GSAT-3 is the first satellite of the Education Satellite System started live class transmissions yesterday for Karnataka State's Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) across its 100 affiliated colleges in Karnataka. Earlier the transmissions, which commenced in September 2004, were being routed through INSAT-3B. About 50 colleges have been provided with interactive terminals for two way audio and two way video interactions through EDUSAT.

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