GEMINI system to aid fishermen

To avoid communication blackouts that led to 20 fishermen going missing in the aftermath of Cyclone Okchi in 2017, a slew of government departments, research agencies and private companies have developed GEMINI.

What is GEMINI?

  • It is a portable receiver linked to ISRO-satellites, that is ‘fail-proof’ and warn fishermen of danger.
  • The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), a Hyderabad institute collaborated with Accord with a private company to develop a box-shaped receiver that has an antenna and in-built battery that can last three to four days.
  • GEMINI works on GAGAN, developed by ISRO and the Airports Authority of India and is an India-made global positioning system and relies on the positioning system by ISRO’s GSAT satellites.

Significance:

  • The satellite-based communication is the only suitable solution for the dissemination of such emergency information and affordable satellite-based communication system should be made part of the dissemination chain to deal with cyclones, high waves and tsunamis.
  • With this device, fishermen outside the signal range of their phone companies can also access warnings and alerts.

Limitation of the device:

  • The device only allows one-way communication — it can’t be used by fishermen to make calls.
  • The device could be more easily accessible to India’s 900,000 fishermen if the chips powering mobile phones were able to receive signals from the GAGAN system.

Know about GAGAN(GPS-aided GEO augmented navigation)

The GPS-aided GEO augmented navigation (GAGAN) is an implementation of a regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS). It is the first step towards the introduction of modern communication, navigation and surveillance/Air Traffic Management system over Indian airspace.

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