Home Politics Ease of Access: Private companies to get all Earth observation data | India News – Times of India

Ease of Access: Private companies to get all Earth observation data | India News – Times of India

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BENGALURU: Continuing its efforts on pushing private participation in the sector, the department of space (DoS) has drafted a new Space Remote Sensing Policy (SRS Policy-2020) focused on creating ‘ease of data access’ aimed at unlocking the immense potential of remote sensing data.
Promising easy dissemination of data and services originating from space-based remote sensing systems, the policy reads: “Any service provider will be free to provide remote sensing data and services to any user in the country by following a simple process of registration/authorisation of assets.” TOI has a copy of the draft policy.
This means that private firms will soon have access to all earth observation data except “sensitive data”, defined as “very high resolution data having ground sampling distance of better than fifty centimeter.” The DoS, due to national security considerations will restrict and use this category of data.
K Sivan, secretary, DoS, told TOI, “Earlier all such data was owned by Isro and we used to give access to some of it for free. Now, any institute or firm will have access to most of our data for free, while we will charge a small fee for high accuracy data which will allow firms small and big to develop more products, applications and technologies.”
Besides, private firms will also be allowed to launch and operate remote sensing payloads which enable earth observation of India and other geographical areas. They will also be allowed to host ground stations.
Sivan said that even foreign firms can benefit from some of these provisions. “If not directly allowed through the policy, guidelines will be framed to enable foreign firms also to come to India through tie-ups with Indian firms,” he said.
An easy access of space-based remote sensing data and information, the DoS aruges, shall enable unfolding solutions, addressing many planning and monitoring requirements of India. Access to such data has been a long-pending demand of both industries and the R&D community.
Coming close on the heels of the new Spacecom policy, the SRS Policy-2020 reads, “This policy has been framed to enhance capability and capacity to harness the utilisation of remote sensing technology with larger involvement of non-government players with simplified procedures.”
The policy allows private players to have space assets in low earth orbit (LEO), medium earth orbit (MEO), geostationary orbit (GEO) or in any other orbit and use of space-based remote sensing in any part of the electromagnetic spectrum to or from Indian territory.
The DoS, while pointing out that India has made tremendous progress in the field of remote sensing, said the policy aims at encouraging stakeholders to actively participate in remote sensing activities to enhance commercialization of space technology.
“Considering the global trends, advancement of technology, wide ranging demand for remote sensing data — both within and outside the country — and the recent initiative of the government towards ‘self-reliant’ India, it is pertinent to evolve new policy directions for space-based remote sensing for enhanced participation of indian industry and ‘ease of data access’,” the draft reads.



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