National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) is an important segment of ISRO with the mandate of
- Providing Earth observation (EO) Data from space and aerial platforms
- Develop technologies & applications for Natural Resources Management
- To Provide support for monitoring and Management of Disaster
- Capacity building for utilization of EO data
The Activities of the Centre includes:
- Planning, Acquisition, Processing and Dissemination of satellite data from various Indian & foreign satellites
- Extending services to set up ground stations and processing facilities
- Carrying out Aerial Surveys and Large Scaling Mapping applications
- Providing Geospatial solutions to users
- Extending a 24X7 service to support disaster monitoring and management
- Outreach through training, workshops, student projects & promotional activities related to remote sensing applications at regional and national level
1.Acquisition planning, Data Reception, Processing and Dissemination
NRSC is responsible for scheduling downlinks of operational missions of Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellites through the payload programming service. The payload programming requests are consolidated at the respective sub systems based on the feasibility and acquisition schedules generated for each of the ground station. The Registered users can place the requests for the data and status of the order can be monitored. Acquisition planning also covers speculative collections based on the current needs and archival requirements.
Emergency scheduling is driven by the disaster events. NRSC's Ground Station is located at Shadnagar, 60 km south of Hyderabad city and is equipped with data acquisition systems which receive data from IRS Satellites and foreign satellites based on the acquisition schedule. The Antenna Receive Systems are capable of receiving data in the frequencies of 2200-2300 MHz (S-Band) and 8000-8400 MHz (X band) and the down converted demodulated data is fed to the processing system.
Preprocessing of data involves direct capturing of satellite data on high performance disk storage providing quick look displays for quality assessment visually. Pre-processing handles direct ingest of the data received from Demodulators through front end processor and archives the data in appropriate form. The data archived is processing to generate preprocessing inputs like orbit and attitude parameters and accession catalogs.
Data product s generated based on the user requests taking the data archives and preprocessing inputs like orbit and attitude and other mission parameters like sensor model, radiometric look up tables. All the generated products are verified to ensure that the output complies with the quality criteria. Special provisions are made to process the data in less than three hours time from the time of acquisition to meet the emergency needs.
NRSC disseminates more than 50,000 satellite data products annually which are used for various operational projects addressing resource monitoring, cartographic applications, disaster management, climate change studies, ocean studies etc. Users may place online orders through the data selection and visualization tools and monitor the status of the order and download the products. In order to increase the global coverage data services, the required scheduling system to program and schedule the passes through onboard recordings and playbacks is set up.
The playbacks are handled at high latitude polar ground station at Svalbard. The data acquisition and transfer process is automated through high bandwidth connectivity between Svalbard station and Shadnagar.
2. Aerial Data Products and Services
Aerial Services & Digital Mapping Area (AS&DMA) of NRSC, ISRO is the only civilian Government entity in the country with end-to-end state-of-the-art infrastructure and capability in the domain of aerial photography, LIDAR and Synthetic Aperture Radar surveys. AS&DMA is a premier national facility for airborne data acquisition and large geospatial database generation facility in India. It has modern data processing and mapping facility in the areas of airborne data preprocessing, GPS processing, Photogrammetry and GIS. AS&DMA has two Beechcraft Super King Air B-200 aircraft in its fleet. The facility has diversified state-of-the-art data acquisition instrumentation like Large Format Digital Camera, Airborne LIDAR, SAR, GPS systems.
3. Remote Sensing Application Projects and Services
Remote Sensing Applications Area (RSAA) provides end-to-end solutions for utilization of data for natural resource management, geospatial applications and information services. It facilitates several remote sensing & GIS application projects for natural resources and environmental management catering to food security, water security, energy security and sustainable development. Our strength lies in technology development & remote sensing based operational solutions for Mapping, Monitoring & Management of natural resources providing reliable, cost & time effective solutions, consultancy services for planning and decision making in various sectors. Expertise to address the utility of spatial information technologies in different themes of natural resources & environment RSAA has successfully completed several turn key projects from mapping to monitoring and management of natural resources and provided reliable, cost & time effective solutions, consultancy services for planning and decision making in various sectors.
NRSC has groomed a dedicated team of bright young and experienced scientists and engineers, drawn from several thematic resource areas who have been working in unison since last 30 years, right from technology development, Undertaking pilot studies towards demonstration of the technology and operationalization of the remote sensing based solutions for natural resource applications. Different groups in RSAA developed expertise to address user needs for various themes viz. Agriculture, Atmosphere and Climate Studies, Forestry and Environment, Geoinformatics, GeoScience, Land Use Land Cover Monitoring, Ocean Science, Soil, Urban & Infrastructure and Water Resources.
The activities under Geosciences theme can be broadly divided in geological mapping, Ground water, Mineral exploration, Geo hazards and Geo-environmental studies. Some of these activities include Geo-engineering activities such as geological mapping for dam site selection and oil pipeline alignment, Event-based landslide inventory mapping and damage assessment, Groundwater quality mapping using field data, Geodynamics and Seismic studies especially coseismic displacement and damage assessments, Glacial Geology and movement, Mineral exploration studies for Bauxite, Limestone, gold, base metal, oil and natural gas, Coastal aquifer mapping and Ground water resource estimation using satellite gravity, Quaternary geological studies, Mine monitoring and solid waste disposal studies, Coal fire and subsidence studies etc.
In Soil and Land Resources activities include Soil mapping at various mapping scales, Land degradation assessment and monitoring, Land use Land cover monitoring on an annual basis, Soil carbon pools and dynamics, Hyperspectral studies to characterize soil properties and Digital soil mapping.
Also RSAA provides GeoInformatics Solutions with respect to interdisciplinary activity including g-Governance, Disaster Management Support, Rural Development etc.While focussing on the national needs, RSAA has been collaborating hands with several international agencies such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), European Space Agency (ESA), National Space Development Agency (NASDA) and several others to share the global/international concerns such as the problems related to International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, International Charter "Space and Major Disaster", etc. and provides Geospatial Solutions.
4. Disaster Management Support Services
Department of Space (DOS) has embarked upon the Disaster Management Support (DMS) Programme as a prime application, for the resolves of disaster management in the country. Various centres of ISRO/DOS are involved in implementing different components of DMS Programme, which is centrally coordinated by DMS Programme office at ISRO HQ. The Decision Support Centre (DSC) established at National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) is the single window delivery point for aerial & space enabled inputs together with other important data layers for its use in disaster management of pre-disaster, during-disaster and post-disaster phases. For online transfer of space enabled inputs to the State and Central government user departments, a VSAT based satellite communication network is available. At present, DSC is addressing five natural disasters viz., Flood, Cyclone, Agricultural Drought, Forest Fire, Earthquake and Landslide. National Database for Emergency Management (NDEM) is an ongoing project carried out by the Remote Sensing Application Area.
The Training & Education Division conducts regular, special, in-house and customized courses for the users of remote sensing data. Remote sensing from aero-space media has become the most valuable tool for management and monitoring of natural resources and environment. For a sustained economic growth and balance between the development of natural resources and optimal natural environment, it is necessary that the technology is used to its maximum potential. This requires development of adequate human resource for the judicious use of the remote sensing technology in resource mapping and environmental monitoring. NRSC offers training courses to resource scientists and technologists in various disciplines of application. At NRSC there is considerable experience of teaching, at Masters Level and also delivery of practical hands-on training using GIS & Remote Sensing software. NRSC imparts training, to render resource - scientists, to become conversant with modern and operational aspects of remote sensing. Regular, Special and Customized Courses are conducted.
7.Open Data Services
NOEDA facilitates the users to download IRS Data & Products coarser than 24 m with Metadata as per NSDI 2.0 & Thematic Services facilitates the users to access, query, download & consume all these data as OGC web services. Cartosat-1 Elevation data (~30m), Resourcesat-1 Ortho Products from AWiFS (56m) and LISS-III (24m) through NOEDA, Digital Data base of LULC at 1:250000 scale (2004-05 to 2010-11) through Thematic Services are available for free download & LULC-50K (2005-06), LULC-250K (2004-05 to 2010-11), Flood Hazards & Flood Annual Layers are available as OGC web services through Thematic Services. Visit NOEDA.
8. Region Specific Services
Regional Remote Sensing Centres located at Kolkata (RC-East), Jodhpur (RC-West), Bangalore (RC-South) and Nagpur, (RC-Central) undertake various national level remote sensing applications as well as studies specific to their states/regions of coverage providing user specific needs, capacity building in Geomatics, locale specific applications for increased user base, regional repositories for actionable products and services. RRSC activities include state specific studies, software development and customization, Research and Development efforts towards development of new technologies etc., besides taking up projects for various ministries and departments.