Loads of Chandrayaan data but no analysts

Loads of Chandrayaan data but no analysts


Madhavan Nair: Indian scientists have to wake up

“We have a huge volume of data running into several terrabytes. Indian scientists have to wake up and chew on that,” Nair said, while releasing a book on ‘Mission Moon: Exploring the Moon with Chandrayaan 1’ authored by S K Das, here on Wednesday.

Poor response
Later, he told Deccan Herald  that 80 Indian universities were approached to respond to study grants that would have brought in the data analysis experts.
But only four universities responded. Under the ISRO’s response programme, study grants are given to research students and proposals invited. “We want to encourage Indian scientists to come forward to work on this, but there is a shortage.”

Nair said that researchers had full access to the data and they required people with quality to look at it for analysis and interpretation.

“It is not our direct responsibility to analyse all the data. We will keep talking about it till we can find people for this job,” he said.

Nair felt that people were required for analysis of several matters, including a detailed assessment of data related to availability of Helium 3, which had been mapped, and also to analyse the thousands of 3D pictures taken of the moon’s entire surface, complete with craters and mountains.

S K Das, who is the honorary advisor to ISRO, said that unlike other countries like US, China and Japan, India did not have a body of planetary scientists who typically study the information gathered by the various payloads aboard a satellite.

Crossing the bridge
“Information processing is not really ISRO’s domain. It has to be a planetary body of scientists and they are few in number. The number of scientists available is not commensurate with the data. Somehow this bridge has to be crossed,” he said.

Nair also mentioned that journal publications were likely to pick up this year, based on discoveries from the payload data. About six papers are likely to be published by Indian scientists this year on matters related to radiation and the origin of the moon.

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