The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has offered dedicated satellites to support the country’s agricultural sector, space agency chairman S. Somanath said on Thursday.
Discussions have been held with the Indian government’s Ministry of Agriculture on the proposed “Bharat Krishi Satellite” program, Somanath said on the sidelines of the 2022 Engineers Conclave taking place at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Center (LPSC), Valiyamala here.
Mr. Somanath said that a minimum of two satellites will be needed to ensure adequate coverage of the entire agricultural area of the country. They will facilitate a range of farm-related activities related to crop forecasting, pesticide application, irrigation, soil data and generating critical drought-related data.
‘”Crop yield doesn’t happen over a week, it happens over a period of a few months. So you need continuous observation. Our satellites today just aren’t enough. So you have to install satellites satellites that have high revisit capability. We have offered to do that,” Somanath said. The satellites will be owned by the Ministry of Agriculture, GoI, not ISRO, he added. ISRO will provide technical support.
“Earth Observation Council” suggested
The ISRO President suggested that an “Earth Observation Council” be created to address current shortcomings in Earth observation capabilities and data usage.
Such a council can tackle shortcomings in this area centrally, he said.
Current shortcomings include discontinuity in Earth observation missions, low utilization of available remote sensing data, technology gaps, and lack of a streamlined data processing and dissemination mechanism as required by the industry,” Mr. Somanath said.