Bengaluru, Sep 4: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to set up its overseas satellite ground station near the North Pole.
This would bolster the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) operations which are critically important in times like disaster management but also for the armed forces, said a report in The Times of India.
According to a scientist at ISRO,"The plan will take some time to materialise as it involves huge logistical challenges, international approvals and co-operation," adding that hardware installation would be tougher at the North Pole considering the extreme weather conditions.
However, ISRO has already two ground stations-IMGEOS at Shadnagar and AGEOS in Antarctica.
Meanwhile, the agency was supposed to establish a second data reception antenna at Antarctica Ground Station for Earth Observation Satellites this year, but will now do it the next year. The space agency had, in 2013, installed its first antenna on the frozen continent.
The AGEOS station in Antarctica already receives IRS data from satellites like Risat-2, Resourcesat-2, Saral, Oceansat, and the Cartosat family of satellites, and transfers the same to Shadnagar of Ranga Reddy district of Telangana.
Why in North Pole ?
"...Because this will provide an opportunity to download the complete data within the same orbit and enable the usage of onboard resources in every orbit and transfer the raw data in near real-time to Shadnagar," explained the ISRO scientist.
Earlier in 2016, China launched its first fully owned overseas satellite ground station near the North Pole. China has previously built ground satellite facilities in numerous foreign countries, mostly in Africa and South America, which are all joint ventures.
Meanwhile, ISRO is readying for 19 launches, including the Chandrayaan-2 mission, starting from this month. All launches will be conducted within seven months, starting from this September to March next year.