Application of satellite remote sensing technology effectively harnessing the natural resource potential is the prime objective of present day’s remote sensing programmes. The space-based sensors are utilized to provide a wide range of information available in the electromagnetic tapes, in a synoptic or more frequent manner for sustainable development and utilization of natural resources.

In India, though this technology has taken its birth from late sixties using Hassle blad camera as the source of information, is now entered to a age of complete revolution by entry of the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite’s latest addition i.e. IRS-1 C. Capability to provide high resolution data and more frequent coverage from a unique combination of sensors, the IRS-1C is considered as the most advanced among all other contemporary satellites in the world.

Indian Remote Sensing Programme:

Remote Sensing Programme in India began with the successful launch of the experimental remote sensing satellites i.e. Bhaskara-1 and Bhaskara-2 of late seventies. The Bhaskara satellites and a two-band TV payload are there for land applications and a Satellite Microwave Radiometer (SAMIR) are there for oceanographic and atmospheric applications.


The Bhaskara Programmes provided valuable experiences in many aspects, such as sensor system development, ground-base data reception and processing data interpretation and utilisation and integration of remotely sensed data with conventional data systems for resource management. These experiences helped a lot for launching and commissioning of the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite series i. e. IRS – 1A in 1988 followed by IRS-1B in 1991 and IRS – P2 in 1994 which have now become the mainstay of the National Natural Resource Management System (NNRMS) – a unique organisation set up in the world. With high level operationalization and extension of remote sensing network to new areas which are not yet available to us but could be within our reach, paved the way for recent launch of second generation Indian remote sensing satellite, i.e. IRS – 1C. The IRS – 1C is highly advanced IRS satellite having much better spectral and spatial resolutions, more frequent revisits, stereo viewing, on board recording capabilities and much advanced aerial photography system.

Remote Sensing Application:

With the advancement in remote sensing satellite technology and data availability, rapid progress has been achieved towards effective utilisation of available data for various applications. It covers diverse fields such as forestry, agricultural crop acreage and yield estimation, drought monitoring and damage assessment, wasteland identification and redamation, ground water targeting and underground water aquifers, marine resources survey, land use and cover studies, water resources development and management, mineral prospecting, urban planning and environmental impact assessment. Thus it covers almost every fact of sustainable resource development and management.

IRS-IC with its advanced technical capabilities now universally acclaimed as the most powerful currently available remote sensing satellite in the world. The planned series of future IRS satellites will undoubtedly ensure that, India will remain a leader in the space remote sensing area in future years to come.


INSAT-2D in space:

The INSAT-2D satellite launched to space from Kourou (French Guinea) by the Arianne rocket at 5.18 am (4.50Am. 1ST) June 4, 1997 (Wednesday). The Ariane rocket also hoisted a communication satellite, Inmarsat-3F2 into space. The INSAT 2-D is the fourth indigenously assembled multipurpose satellite. It will help India introduce additional television channels, step up the communication networks and facilitate communications between ships, trains and surfaces transport vehicles.

Dr Krishna Swamy Kasturirangan, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said, “The satellite will help to network banks, stock markets and other institutions in the four metropolitan cities ‘for transfers of data or messages. It will help T.V. journalists in news reporting with the help of mobile terminals and will be an important communication instrument for maritime and surface transport companies. The satellite is monitored from Hassan. The satellite will be declared operational after a month, before which ISRO scientists have to beam commands for in-orbit tests and opening of the solar arrays and communication antennae.”

Space Industry Cooperation:


The space industry cooperation maintains a symbiotic relationship in which there is always transfer of advanced technologies developed by ISRO and technical consultancy from space programme to industry on one hand and utilization of industry’s own technical potential and expertise by space programme on the other. This relationship is going to be stronger day by day. In recent years, mutual interdependence has been strengthened further with the award of specific developmental contracts on high caliber Indian industries for the realization of complex systems and projects.