ISRO Initiates Project to Strengthen Satellite Connectivity to Antarctica for Scientific Research and NISAR Mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has undertaken a new initiative to enhance satellite connectivity between India’s research stations in Antarctica and ISRO’s Shadnagar Centre in Telangana. This project, with an estimated cost of Rs 110 crore, aims to establish a more robust satellite link utilizing advanced Ka-band technology. By implementing this technology, ISRO intends to improve connectivity, enabling high-speed satellite internet services with enhanced data transfer capabilities.

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The significance of this endeavor is particularly notable in light of the upcoming NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) space mission, a collaborative venture between scientists from India and the United States. Scheduled for launch in 2024, NISAR will amass extensive data regarding changes in ice sheets and rising sea levels, aiding in a better understanding of the effects of global warming. Given the anticipated volume of data generated by this mission, which could exceed 80 terabytes per day, establishing a stronger satellite link becomes imperative.

India’s research stations in Antarctica, Maitri and Bharati, are pivotal in acquiring satellite visibility for a greater number of orbits. These stations receive real-time data from Indian Earth Observation Satellites, which are then transmitted to the Shadnagar ground station in India via satellite and terrestrial networks. Unfortunately, the existing satellite network has limited bandwidth, posing challenges in communication and data transfer.

The improved satellite connectivity to Antarctica will not only facilitate scientific research activities but also enhance communication for the scientists stationed there. The increased network bandwidth will enable timely transmission and processing of research data and operational files, thereby benefiting various research projects conducted in this remote region. Furthermore, the enhanced connectivity will support telemedicine services, enabling remote provision of medical care.

Antarctica holds significant importance due to its profound impact on the Earth’s climate and ocean systems. With over 90 active research stations from 54 countries and a substantial number of researchers present year-round, reliable and high-bandwidth communication services are essential for scientific exploration and seamless data transfer within the region.

ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad has issued a tender for the supply, installation, and commissioning of the Ka-band satellite link for Antarctica. Prospective vendors interested in submitting proposals will participate in a pre-bid meeting on May 26, and the bidding process will conclude on September 22. This step ensures a transparent selection process, allowing for the most suitable vendor to undertake the project successfully.

FAQ

Q1: What is the purpose of the project initiated by ISRO to enhance satellite connectivity to Antarctica?

A: The project aims to establish a stronger satellite link using Ka-band technology to improve connectivity between India’s research stations in Antarctica and ISRO’s Shadnagar Centre. This will enable better communication, high-speed satellite internet services, and enhanced data transfer capabilities.

Q2: Why is this project significant for the upcoming NASA-ISRO NISAR space mission?

A: The project is crucial for the NISAR mission, which will collect extensive data on changes in ice sheets and rising sea levels to study the impact of global warming. The enhanced satellite connectivity will ensure timely transmission and processing of the massive amounts of data expected from the mission.

Q3: How will the enhanced satellite connectivity benefit scientific research activities in Antarctica?

A: The improved connectivity will facilitate scientific research by enabling timely transmission and processing of research data and operational files. It will also support various research projects conducted in the remote region and enhance communication for scientists stationed in Antarctica.

Q4: What is the significance of Antarctica in relation to Earth’s climate and ocean systems?

A: Antarctica has a profound impact on the Earth’s climate and ocean systems. With numerous research stations and researchers present year-round, reliable and high-bandwidth communication services are essential for scientific exploration and data transfer in the region.

Q5: What are the potential applications of the enhanced satellite connectivity beyond scientific research?

A: In addition to scientific research, the improved connectivity can support telemedicine services, allowing remote medical care. It will also enhance communication for various activities conducted in Antarctica, benefiting multiple sectors beyond research.

Q6: How can vendors participate in the project for supplying the Ka-band satellite link?

A: Vendors interested in supplying the Ka-band satellite link can participate in the bidding process. The tender has been issued by ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad, and the bidding process will conclude on September 22. Prospective vendors can submit their proposals and attend the pre-bid meeting for further details.

UPSC

Based on aforesaid article, answer the following the comment box :

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) initiated a project to enhance satellite connectivity between India’s research stations in Antarctica and which ISRO center?

a) Maitri Center

b) Shadnagar Centre

c) Bharati Center

d) National Remote Sensing Centre

 

The project aims to establish a stronger satellite link using which technology?

a) Ka-band

b) Ku-band

c) C-band

d) X-band

 

The upcoming NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is a joint initiative between scientists from which two countries?

a) India and China

b) India and Japan

c) India and the United States

d) India and Russia

 

NISAR mission is primarily focused on collecting data related to:

a) Forest cover change

b) Weather patterns

c) Changes in ice sheets and rising sea levels

d) Deep space exploration

 

The enhanced satellite connectivity to Antarctica will facilitate which of the following?

a) Scientific research activities

b) Communication for scientists stationed there

c) Timely transmission and processing of research data

d) All of the above

 

How much data is the NISAR mission expected to generate per day?

a) 8 terabytes

b) 30 terabytes

c) 50 terabytes

d) 80 terabytes

 

What role do India’s research stations in Antarctica, Maitri and Bharati, play?

a) Collecting data from Indian Earth Observation Satellites

b) Providing medical care to researchers

c) Analyzing climate change data

d) Broadcasting satellite signals to the region

 

Why is reliable and high-bandwidth communication important in Antarctica?

a) Due to the presence of over 90 active research stations

b) To support scientific exploration and data transfer

c) For seamless communication between researchers

d) All of the above

 

The tender for the supply, installation, and commissioning of the Ka-band satellite link for Antarctica has been issued by which ISRO center?

a) Maitri Center

b) Shadnagar Centre

c) Bharati Center

d) National Remote Sensing Centre

 

What is the purpose of the pre-bid meeting mentioned in the article?

a) To discuss the technical specifications of the project

b) To address queries from prospective vendors

c) To evaluate proposals from vendors

d) To finalize the contract with the selected vendor

 

Also read Chandrayaan 3.

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