Satellites

15 operational sats for communication, 26 under development

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NEW DELHI: Fifteen of the 42 currently operational satellites are being utilised to meet the requirements of the communication industry, the minister of state in the department of space Jitendra Singh has said.

Singh told the Parliament that the operational satellites in orbit comprise 18 earth observation (including meteorological), 15 communication, seven navigational and two Space Science satellites. Another 26 satellites are currently under various stages of realisation.

The minister said that a plan is in place to suitably augment the space infrastructure to ensure continuity of services and to meet further requirements in these areas.

Satellite-based data and services are being used by various ministries/departments in planning, monitoring and evaluation of developmental activities in various sectors, which include agriculture, forestry and environment, water resources, urban and rural planning, asset mapping, mineral prospecting, ocean resources, meteorology, satellite communication, location based services, tele-education, tele-medicine and disaster management support.

In order to step up the building of satellites, the Indian Space Research Organisation is involving a consortium of industries for assembly, integration and testing (AIT) of satellites, and the sub-systems and infrastructure are being provided by ISRO. The AIT of a navigation satellite is in progress and the satellite is getting ready for launch in second half of this year.

In order to accelerate the use of satellites and its services, an outreach facility has been established in Hyderabad to cater to the requirements of capacity building in space-based applications. This facility caters to several activities like training, information kiosks, content generation, outsourcing and mass communication. The facility comprises a large number of thin client systems providing access to satellite data and various software tools for building applications for various developmental activities.

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