Project NETRA: ISRO Signs pact to set up optical Telescope

The Indian Space Research Organization signed a pact with Indian Institute of Astrophysics to establish an optical telescope under “Project NETRA”. The organisation also tied up with NIT-Karnataka to set up a regional academic centre for space to promote research and development.

Project NETRA

Project NETRA was launched by ISRO in September 2019. Under the Project, ISRO plans to set up observational facilities that will help in making early warnings to satellites about debris and hazards in their orbit. It includes radars, telescopes, control centres and data processing units. The aim is to make the facilities powerful enough to track even the smallest particle of 10 cm diameter up to a range of 3,400 km.

Significance

The project will help India detect threats to Indian satellites from debris. Currently, India operates 15 communication satellites, 13 remote sensing satellites and eight navigation satellites.

Need

Space debris is the biggest problem of the satellites sector. There are more than 7,500 tonnes of space debris that are circling the earth at present. These junks include screws of old rocket bodies to defunct space crafts that pose collision hazard to satellites.

NETRA of DRDO

Apart from ISRO, DRDO (Defence Research Development Organisation) operates NETRA (Network Traffic Analysis). It is a software network used to analyse internet traffic. It is used by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other intelligence agencies of Government of India.

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