ISRO sats can map 87% land area of Pakistan

That India’s space capabilities allow its armed forces to be more effective in planning is no secret. But here’s the extent of India’s reach: Information accessed from the Indian Space Research Organisation shows satellites keep a watch over Pakistan and provide high definition mapping of 87% of its land area, providing vital inputs to the armed forces’ operations like the Balakot airstrikes.

Indian satellites are able to map terrains across 7.7 lakh sqkm of Pakistan’s total 8.8 lakh sqkm of land area, giving Indian commanders access to high resolution images of 0.65 metre.

Among the major satellites that have helped the armed forces are the series of Cartosat satellites, GSAT-7 and GSAT-7A, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System constellation, the Microsat, Risat and the most recently, HysIS. If one counts individual spacecraft, then more than 10 operational satellites are of use to the military.

The first major use of the Cartosat satellites had aided India’s surgical strikes across the LOC in September 2016. Cartosat provides ‘area of interest’ images based on specific requests. According to the National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad, AOI products are of two types — standard and precision-based ortho (where images taken from space are corrected to have a uniform scale) — both of which are useful for the forces. Ortho rectified products are corrected for terrain distortions and camera tilt effects.

While the first Cartosat was launched in 2005, Cartosat-2A launched in 2007 was the first dual-use satellite with capabilities of monitoring missile launches in India’s neighbourhood. Cartosat-2C, launched in June 2016, can record videos of sensitive targets, compress them, and relay to earth. The next in the series, Cartosat-2E, was launched in June 2017. ISRO launched a bevy of other satellites for military use in 2018 too.

No comments: