India’s decision to join Europe’s satellite data sharing pool

India has joined Europe’s mega global arrangement of sharing data from Earth observation satellites, called Copernicus.

Data from a band of Indian remote sensing satellites will be available to the European Copernicus programme while designated Indian institutional users will in return get to access free data from Europe’s six Sentinel satellites and those of other space agencies that are part of the programme.

Copernicus is the world’s largest single earth observation programme and is directed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA). It aims at achieving a global, continuous, autonomous, high quality, wide range Earth observation capacity. Providing accurate, timely and easily accessible information to, among other things, improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change, and ensure civil security.

Advantages from joining European satellite data sharing pool: 

  • India would get free, full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites using high bandwidth connections.
  • EU and its participating states would get free, full and open access to the data from ISRO’s land, ocean and atmospheric series of civilian satellites (Oceansat-2, Megha-Tropiques, Scatsat-1, SARAL, INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR).
  • The space based information will be used for forecasting disasters, providing emergency response and rescue of people during disasters; to glean land, ocean data; and for issues of security, agriculture, climate change and atmosphere. Thus providing for avenues for cooperation between the EU and India.

India and EU are two superpowers in the arena of space. This collaboration will aid both India and EU to effectively utilise the expertise in space for the benefit of the mankind through a collaborative approach. [The Hindu]

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