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International Cooperation

From the days of its inception, ISRO has had a very good record of international cooperation. It has Memoranda of Understanding/Agreements with 26 countries/space agencies. A UN sponsored Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTE-AP) set up in India has trained more than 400 personnel of the Asia-pacific region. During the year, CSSTE-AP completed 10 years. In addition, ISRO provides training in space applications to personnel of developing countries through its Sharing of Experience in Space (SHARES) programme.

ISRO has launched scientific payloads of other space agencies like Modular Opto-electronic Scanner of DLR, Germany that was flown on IRS-P3 spacecraft and the data is being shared by scientists of DLR, India and the US. It has a cooperative agreement with NASA/NOAA for the reception of meteorological data from INSAT spacecraft by those agencies.

Megha-Tropiques is a joint satellite mission of ISRO and French Space Agency CNES for atmospheric studies. The satellite will be built and launched by ISRO and CNES will develop two of the payloads and the third payload jointly with ISRO. At the same time, scientific instruments developed in the United States, Germany, Sweden, UK and Bulgaria will be launched on board India’s Chadrayaan-1 spacecraft. This apart, an Italian scientific instrument will be included onboard India’s OCEANSAT-2 satellite. Instruments for astronomical observation jointly developed with Israel and Canada will be flown onboard India’s GSAT-4 and RISAT satellites respectively. And, an Indian scientific instrument to study solar physics and solar-terrestrial sciences will be flown onboard Russia’s CORONAS-PHOTON satellite.

India has also set up three local User Terminals and a Mission Control Centre for the international COSPAS/SARSAT programme for providing distress alert and position location service. A search and Rescue Transponder is included in INSAT-3A spacecraft. India is a signatory to the International Charter on Disaster Management and is providing remote sensing data for the same.

Antrix

Antrix, the commercial front of the Department of Space, is a single window agency for marketing Indian space capabilities. It is playing a key role in the worldwide availability of IRS data through Geoeye, USA. Antrix also provides IRS data processing equipment.

Antrix offers launch services using India’s PSLV. Two German, one Korean and one Belgian satellites have already been successfully launched by PSLV. Through Antrix, Telemetry, Tracking and Command support from the Indian ground stations are offered. Similarly, lease of transponders from INSAT system is possible. In this regard, 11 transponders have already been leased to INTELSAT. Customers for the spacecraft components offered by Antrix include world’s leading spacecraft manufacturers.

During the year, an agreement was entered with EADS Astrium, Paris for the joint manufacture of 2000 kg and 3000 kg class satellite platforms for the telecommunications market. Besides, Antrix won contracts from Europe and Asia for launch services in the highly competitive international markets. After the successful development of a low cost, compact, modular and rugged Automatic Weather Station (AWS) in coordination with industry, the technology has been licensed to industry for regular production.

Thus, in addition to successfully developing spacecraft and launch vehicle technologies indigenously, India has also been successful in the application of satellite technology to benefit its national economy. At the same time, India has also been sharing space-based information with the international community and providing commercial space services globally.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 09-02-2011