Department of Space Current Affairs - 2020

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New company to be established under Department of Space

The government has approved setting up of a new company under the Department of Space to commercially exploit the research and development work carried out by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Centers and constituent units of DOS.

Avenues for Commercialisation

The following avenues provide opportunities for commercial exploitation of ISRO programmes:

  • Small satellite technology transfer to industry. The new company shall take a license from DoS/ISRO and sub-license to industries.
  • Manufacture of the small satellite launch vehicle (SLV) in collaboration with the Private Sector.
  • Productionisation of Polar SLV through the industry.
  • Productionisation and marketing of Space-based products and services, including launch and applications;
  • Transfer of Technology developed by ISRO Centers and constituent units of DoS.
  • Marketing of some spin-off technologies and products, both in India and abroad.
  • Any other subject which Government of India deems fit.

Recently ISRO agreed to transfer technology on Lithium-Ion cell Batteries. Constituting a new company together with providing revenues will give a boost to the Make in India campaign.

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India, EU ink cooperation agreement to share earth observation data from each other’s satellite

India’s Department of Space (DoS) and European Union (EU) have signed cooperation agreement related to sharing of earth observation satellite data. The agreement aims to strengthen and stimulate cooperation on earth observation and mutual access to data from EU’s Sentinel series of satellites and from Indian earth observation satellites. The data sharing will provide mutual benefits, in particular in pursuit of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Key Facts

Under this arrangement, EU will provide India with free, full and open access to data from Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites using high bandwidth connections from data hub to data hub. Reciprocally, India will provide Copernicus programme and its participating states with free, full and open access to data from ISRO’s earth observation satellites including historical data sets. This comprises data from land, ocean and atmospheric series of ISRO’s civilian satellites (Oceansat-2, Scatsat-1, Megha-Tropiques, SARAL, INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR) with exception of commercial high-resolution satellites data. The agreement also envisages technical assistance for establishment of high bandwidth connections with ISRO sites, in particular through setting up of mirror servers, data storage and archival facilities.

Copernicus programme

It is the world’s largest single earth observation programme directed by European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA). It aims at achieving global, continuous, autonomous, high quality, wide range Earth observation capacity.

It provides wide range of applications like climate change, ocean, land and atmosphere monitoring as well as support in forecasting, management and mitigation of natural disasters. Its full, free and open data policy has proven its merits and allowed development of thriving user base in Europe and beyond.

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