The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is designing a geo imaging satellite (GISAT) that will provide near real time pictures of large areas of the country, under cloud free conditions, at frequent intervals.

The satellite will be placed in geostationary orbit of 36,000 km. It is capable of taking selected sector-wise images every 5 minutes and of the entire Indian landmass every 30 minutes at 50m spatial resolution. GISAT will carry a GEO Imager with multi-spectral (visible, near infra-red and thermal), multi-resolution (50m to 1.5 km) imaging instruments. It will provide pictures of the area of interest on near real time basis including border areas. Previously, The Hindu had reported that Rs 50 crore had been sanctioned to develop the satellite. It’s not clear as to when the satellite will be ready for launch.

The need

Current satellites by ISRO also click pictures of landmasses, however, they do not visit the same landmass for the next three to five days once an image is clicked. On the other hand, GISAT provides near to real time images, which might help the government to keep a closer watch on the national borders.

Previously, ISRO had launched CARTOSAT 2B on July, 12, 2010 in a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. The satellite is capable of taking black and white pictures in the visible region of electromagnetic spectrum.

Other developments

In March 2012, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the IT arm of Indian Railways, has partnered with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to develop a GPS-based device for trains, which will provide real-time train tracking with an accuracy of 10 meters and latency of 2 mins. Indian Railways had partnered with IIT-Kanpur to introduce a real-time train tracking system for mobile users.