Sunday, September 19, 2021

India’s BRICS Chairship: Agreement signed on cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing

With the view to serve humankind in meeting global climate change and environmental protection, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) space agencies have inked an agreement for cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing. The pact which was signed on 18th August will enable building a virtual constellation of specified remote sensing satellites of BRICS space agencies and their respective ground stations will receive the data, according to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation).

The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency stated that under India’s BRICS Chairship, the agreement will strengthen multilateral cooperation among BRICS space agencies in meeting the challenges faced by mankind.

Mapping, Monitoring, & Remote Sensing: An overview

Satellite remote sensing instruments are the most powerful tools to track dynamic changes occurring on land, coastal and oceanic ecosystems. They are instruments that indicate ecological health and sustainability as well as provide detailed observations of both natural and human-induced changes in atmosphere, land surface and climatic conditions. Space-based remote sensing enables investigation on large scale areas to make findings that cannot be done by field observations. For example, the reports and analysis on global sea-rise, which cannot be identified by modelling or field observations. Further, satellite remote sensing also aids in representing information for managing territories with whatever the geographic location, along with dealing with the called for challenges. Numerous functions can be performed with a satellite image in regards to the decision-making process, including monitoring, planning, implementation etc.

How is remote-sensing beneficial for humankind?

Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of External Affairs, Sanjay Bhattacharyya in a tweet said, “BRICS reached a major landmark today with the signing of Agr on BRICS Satellite Constellation by Heads of Space Agencies.

It will promote cooperation & use space data & applications for development & social objectives outlined in SDGs, providing benefit to citizens #BRICSIndia2021”

Remote Sensing is a comparatively new concept for many, but the technology aims to improve our daily lives in numerous ways. Some of the ways in which remoting sensing help us include:

Inhaling clean air: Data from remote-sensing satellites can be used in issuing warnings for those who are affected by poor air quality. Not only this, but policymakers can use the data effectively to regulate air pollutants and direct policy in this regard.

Tropical Storms: Natural hazards such as cyclones, landslides, tsunamis, have a huge impact as they cause damage to life and property. Hence, remote sensing satellites come into the picture, as they can provide data to accurately predict unforeseen challenges and this information can be used to give the public to prepare against these powerful and potentially deadly storms.

An eye on Wildlife: From forest fires of Amazon to fires blazing across the deserts, it is crucial for people to know where the wildfires are heading. Wildfires have posed a global concern, as in the last two years, the world has witnessed forest fires across the globe. Hence, instruments aboard satellites can detect indicators of wildfires such as smoke, ash, dust from miles above the Earth’s surface.

Global Climate Change: The whole world is pursuing answers to global climate change. This sort of answer requires powerful and robust instruments and long-term data collection. Did you know that the first experimental verification of the greenhouse effect at the Earth’s surface was indicated through remote-sensing? The evidence was established after decade-long studies and data collection.

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