Cabinet approves cooperation between ISRO and USGS for Exchange and use of U.S. Land Remote Sensing Satellite Data

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and United States Geological Survey (USGS) for Cooperation in the exchange and use of U.S. Land Remote Sensing Satellite Data. The MoU between the two agencies was signed on 9th July 2016 at Bengaluru. The MoU will give ISRO access to USGS’s Landsat-7 & 8 in India and give USGS access to ISRO’s Resourcesat-2 (AWiFS and LISS III) data of US region. Apart from cooperation with USGS, ISRO has been actively pursuing cooperation with many other organisations of US like National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). USGS has launched Landsat-8 satellite in February 2013. Data received from Landsat series of satellites was used by the ISRO during the inception of Indian remote sensing programme. Similarly, USGS also expressed interest in receiving data from ISRO’s RESOURCESAT-2 satellite. ISRO also received data from Landsat during 1984 to 2001.

Remote sensing refers to the science of obtaining information by recording /observing/perceiving objects/areas/events from far away places, typically from satellites or aircraft. The remote sensing satellites have been equipped with sensors to look down to the earth and are called as “eyes in the sky”.