ISRO Satellites Playing A Major Role In Saving Lives In Inundated Kerala. Here’s How:

Since prehistoric times, humans and animals have faced the wrath of natural disasters which has often resulted in innumerable casualties. But with the advent of technology and more specifically satellites, natural calamities are now dealt with much more ease and thus disastrous aftermaths have been mitigated on several occasions.

This time, satellites from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are doing the job that no human can, saving hundreds of lives in the Kerala floods.

The third eye of rescue operations

The five remote sensing satellites and radar satellites have been taking pictures of various aspects of the situation in the flood-hit state from a distance of 400-800 kilometres from the Earth and sending it back with supportive data. Once crunched, the data is helping the experts to predict the level of rains till then, what to expect in the next few hours and even about the situation in the forests and the water reservoirs.

The five satellites - Oceansat-2, RESOURCESAT-2, CARTOSAT-2 and 2A and INSAT 3DR are playing a major role in monitoring the flood situation and aiding in relief work.

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For example, the INSAT 3DR, an advanced meteorological satellite, provides the latest information in fluctuating temperatures and humidity in the coast of Kerala, while the CARTOSAT and RESOURCESAT are sending high-resolution images of the affected areas to study and provide relief funds accordingly.

Cartosat 2 and 2A can be steered along the track to 45 degrees for frequent imaging of a specific area. The data from these satellites is then processed at the Decision Support Centre at the National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad and is disseminated periodically to the Centre and State under the disaster management support programme of ISRO.

Real-time feedback

With the real-time data, the flooded and non-flooded regions are highlighted on a map using different colours. This map is then sent out to state and central agencies which can then help in plotting the transport network and relief operations.

Along with satellites, instruments like buoys and barometers are also contributing to the Kerala rescue operations.

Barometers measure atmospheric pressure and are thus helping the officials forecast any short-term changes in the weather. Buoys have sensors for wind speed, wave direction, and height of the sea level and they are assisting the relief workers in proper planning of the rescue operations.

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In a disaster like this, planning is always the most important aspect of carrying out rescue operations effectively. The use of Indian satellites in this case not only highlights the progress that India has made in the field of astronomy, but also its independence when it comes to the need for advance equipments to combat natural disasters.

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