Spy satellite to catch miners, land encroachers

With the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launching its latest and more augmented remote sensing satellite, the CARTOSAT-2B, there is a new “electronic spy” in the skies.

This satellite, according to ISRO officials, carries a “panchromatic camera” which is capable of “imaging a swath (geographical strip of land) of 9.6 km with a resolution of 0.8 metre.”
Take anything at the micro-level, whether it is land assessment, village settlement mapping, crop inventory at a particular farmyard, canal alignment, planning new rural roads, monitoring their construction or the land use, the pictures from this satellite would never lie, ISRO avers.

Said to be “highly agile,” the  CARTOSAT-2B also carries a “Solid State Recorder” with a capacity of 64 gigabyte to store the images taken by its camera, which can be read out later to the ground stations.

According to officials, the “multiple spot scene imagery” sent by the satellite will be useful for village-level resource assessment and mapping, detailed urban and infrastructure planning among others.

More specifically, as CARTOSAT-2B has a very high-spatial resolution, it could be pressed into service for “detailed mapping of areas where mining activities and encroachment of forest lands were taking place,” officials added.

The satellite “can be used for such wide-ranging infrastructure and planning related applications that its actual use depends on the imagination of the user,” an ISRO official quipped.

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