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ISRO to develop replacement GPS for better accuracy

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Kolkata: India’s indigenous position determination system being developed by national space agency ISRO will serve as a “replacement GPS” for the public with enhanced access in remote areas, an official said here on Saturday.

It will also aid in navigation and monitoring of fleet (trucks and ships) movement, the official added.

“We will have our own position determination system using our own navigation constellation, the IRNSS series which will be operational by middle of next year. It is a kind of replacement GPS,” said Deviprasad Karnik, the director, publication and public relations, ISRO.

“The US is offering the GPS navigation. IRNSS is indigenous”, he added while talking to reporters here on the sidelines of a lecture on India’s Space mission and use of Space Technology as a solution to Sustainable challenges of Kolkata at Birla Industrial and Technological Museum.

Four of the seven satellites in IRNSS constellation (IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D) are in orbit. Remaining three satellites (IRNSS-1E, 1F and 1G) are targeted for launch during January 2016 to March 2016, he said.

“Once the constellation is completed, we need some time to establish the accuracy part, validation and other things. The advantage is that the navigation range has been designed to span around 1,500 km radius around India,” he said.

“GPS is not available at all places. Signal is weak in remote areas but our own signal will be available in remote areas with better accuracy.”

As an example of the app-based positioning service, Karnik said, it will help in effective management of fleet movement.

“Monitoring and effective management of fleet of trucks or ship monitoring will be done through spacecraft. For example, for ships the system can inform which route will be more effective. That will save time and fuel,” he said.

(IANS)

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CMFRI, ISRO Join Hands to Protect Coastal Wetlands

“Wetlands are highly prospective for some selective aquaculture ventures which will help the local people earn economical gains” he added

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In an effort to build resilience against the impact of climate change on wetlands, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have teamed up to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in the coastal region and restore them through coastal livelihood programmes.

This is the first time that a fisheries institute is collaborating with the ISRO to develop a comprehensive climate resilient framework for fisheries and wetlands.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the CMFRI and the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of the ISRO to develop a mobile app and a centralised web portal with complete database of wetlands in the country which were smaller than 2.25 hectares.

Such smaller wetlands cover an area of more than 5 lakh hectares across the country, with Kerala alone having as many as 2,592 such wetlands.

According to the MoU, the two institutes will identify and demarcate the wetlands and restore the degraded ones through suitable livelihood options such as coastal aquaculture.

The mobile app will be used for real-time monitoring of the wetlands and giving advisories to the stakeholders and the coastal people.

climate, global warming, celsisu, oceansac
A fisherman stands on his boat as he fishes at the Tisma lagoon wetland park, also designated as Ramsar Site 1141 in the Convention on Wetlands, in Tisma, Nicaragua. VOA

The collaborative move is part of a national framework for fisheries and wetlands recently developed by the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA), a project of the CMFRI.

The NICRA project aims to find ways and means to mitigate the impact of climate change on marine fisheries and coastal region. According to the MoU, the National Wetland Atlas, already developed by the SAC, will be updated with real-time data of physical, chemical and biological parameters of the wetlands to be provided by the CMFRI.

P.U. Zacharia, who is attached to the NICRA project, said the real-time data of the demarcated coastal wetlands would greatly help in developing a conservation plan for the degraded wetlands in the region, besides utilising these resources for livelihood prospects in the area such as shrimp and crab farming.

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“Smaller wetlands across the country are in a highly neglected state owing to multiple reasons. Climate variability induced rainfall drastically changes the physio-chemical characteristics of such wetlands, which was evidently seen during the devastating floods in Kerala last year.

“The collaborative initiative will help develop a comprehensive wetland information system which could facilitate the village-level wetland advisories to the local people by scientific communities,” Zacharia said.

“Wetlands are highly prospective for some selective aquaculture ventures which will help the local people earn economical gains” he added. (IANS)