Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its French counterpart CNES have signed an agreement to set up a joint maritime surveillance system in India in May, reports The Hindu. ISRO Chairman K.Sivan and Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, signed the agreement in Bengaluru.
CNES statement noted that the agreement provides for a maritime surveillance centre to be set up in India in May this year. “It aims to supply an operational system for detecting, identifying and tracking ships in the Indian Ocean and sharing of capacity to process existing satellite data and joint development of associated algorithms,” it said,
The agreement builds up on the ‘ ‘Joint Vision for Space Cooperation’ launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron last year in March and says that the two nations will put up a constellation of low-Earth orbiting satellites to identify ships and track their movement– and in particular those moving in the Indian Ocean region where France has its Reunion Islands.
Before that, they will initially share data from their present space systems and develop new algorithms to analyse them, according to the Paris based National Centre for Space Studies.
ISRO and CNES have put up two climate and ocean weather monitoring satellites Megha-Tropiques in 2011 and SARAL-AltiKa in 2013 that are considered a model for the project. These two will be augmented with the launch of Oceansat-3-Argos mission in 2020 along with a joint infrared Earth-observation satellite, the CNES statement said, adding, “For the next phase of the programme, studies for an orbital infrastructure to be operated jointly by the two countries are ongoing. CNES is working with its industry partners and with ISRO to devise the most appropriate technical solution.”
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