Flood inundation map developed using Sentinel-1 satellite data, as part of the rapid mapping response under the SERVIR-HKH Initiative at ICIMOD. Map: Kabir Uddin/ICIMOD.

In July 2019, Bangladesh, India and Nepal experienced floods and landslides during the South Asian... read more

Publishing Date: 25/09/2019
Tropical Cyclone Fani reaches the eastern coast of India on 2 May 2019.

Building upon a history of successful Earth observation satellite launches, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) sent its RISAT-2B radar imaging satellite into... read more

Publishing Date: 22/05/2019
The CCSTEAP organizes several courses and programmes in the upcoming academic year. Image: CSSTEAP.

The Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP), which is affiliated to the United Nations, will run its 24th postgraduate programme in Remote Sensing & Geographic System (RS & GIS) starting this July. The two-year programme open for 20 participants will be held at the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), which is a unit of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), in Dehadrun. The deadline for applications for the programme is 28 February 2019.

The course is directed towards professionals and specialists working in universities and other educational institutes,... read more

Publishing Date: 28/01/2019
UN-SPIDER lecture during the SAARC regional workshop and training.

The United Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its UN-SPIDER progroamme, and the Disaster Management Centre of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC DMC) conducted a joint regional workshop and training on the “Utilization of Space-based and Geospatial Information for Achieving the Targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction” from 4 to 8 December in Ahmedabad, India. The one-day workshop and four-day training enhanced cooperation and sharing of best practices amongst disaster management agencies and experts in the South Asia region.

The events brought together about 30 officials from right SAARC... read more

Publishing Date: 17/12/2018
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PSLV C43 vehicle launch India fist HysIS Image: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the first Indian Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS) from Sriharikota on 29 November. The satellite is expected to be used for Earth observation in applications related to agriculture, forestry, geology,... read more

Publishing Date: 03/12/2018

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a new programme to offer educational training in space technology to engineering and science graduates. The application period for the first round of the UNispace Nanosatellite Assembly & Training (UNNATI) will close on 30 September. Further rounds are foreseen in 2019 and 2020.

The selected candidates will acquire knowledge about nanosatellites development through a combination of theoretical coursework and hands-on training on Assembly, Integration, and Testing (AIT).

Through the programme, ISRO aims at building capacities in satellite technology for participants from countries interested in developing space programme.

The UNispace Nanosatellite Assembly & Training  (UNNATI... read more

Publishing Date: 26/09/2018
PSLV-C42 launching platform. Image: ISRO.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched two Earth observation satellites on 16 September from Sriharikota where the Satish Dhawan Space Center is located. NovaSAR S1-4, which were developed in and will be operated from the United Kingdom, will provide Earth observation... read more

Publishing Date: 21/09/2018
Flooding in India (2013). Photo: Umesh Kumar.

India’s Central Water Commission (CWC) has signed a Collaboration Agreement with Google that will help crisis management agencies deal with extreme hydrological events, such as floods, more effectively. 

The agreement allows CWC to make use of Google’s artificial intelligence, machine learning and geospatial mapping expertise for effective water management and flood forecasting. The agreement will also help CWC to better disseminate flood related information through different platforms developed by Google. 

Under this Agreement, CWC and Google will share technical expertise in different fields related to flood management, including  geospatial flood mapping and analysis of hydrological observation data. The agreement also facilitates collaboration on improving flood... read more

Publishing Date: 10/07/2018
Image: Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon. NASA.

The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a programme under the auspices of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has engineered a new monitoring system to observe forest cover change and combat deforestation. By combining optical remote sensing, geographic information system, artificial intelligence and automation, the new system allows monitoring experts to detect small-scale deforestation to further limit the damage caused to forests and to improve the... read more

Publishing Date: 24/05/2018
The European Commission and Department of Space of India sign a Cooperation Arrangement to share satellite Earth Observation data. Image: European External Action Service (EEAS)

The European Commission (EC) and Department of Space (DoS) of India signed a Cooperation Agreement on 19 March that will enable them to share earth observation data from each other's satellites. This shared space-based information will be used to forecast natural and man-made disasters, to provide... read more

Publishing Date: 17/04/2018
Western Ghats mountain range

Satellites detected multiple forest fires in India in the midst of a deadly forest fire which killed at least 14 trekkers in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu which began on 11 March.

Satellite data analysed by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of India shows that between 6 and 11... read more

Publishing Date: 21/03/2018
Floods in Uttarakhand, India, in 2013.

The Indian state of Uttarakhand has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Ahmedabad on 15 February. This understanding gives the Uttarakhand Disaster Mitigation & Management Centre (DMMC) access to the... read more

Publishing Date: 22/02/2018
Drought in Sri Lanka in 2012.

The ongoing drought in Sri Lanka, believed to be the worst in 40 years, began towards the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 with abnormally low soil moisture in Northern Sri Lanka and India’s Tamil Nadu state. At the beginning of this month, the number of people affected by the drought exceeded two million.

Drought is not a novel phenomenon in Sril Lanka, but what makes the current episode unique is its intensity, severity and persistence, similar to the drought episodes in 2012 and 2014. Kurunegala District in the North Western Province is one of the areas that has experienced devastating effects of drought ranging from reduction of water supplies for crop irrigation to nearly empty reservoirs, with significant impacts on livelihoods. The effects of the drought have also undermined the country’s rice- based food system.

Relevant and... read more

Publishing Date: 19/09/2017
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Report on Mapping Multiple Climate-related Hazards in South Asia

Countries experience multiple climate-related risks that vary spatially and in time, with the combined impact of such risks carrying severe consequences for the population. A new collaborative research study by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) identifies the need to carry out regional level assessments of these risks in South Asia.

The IWMI Research Report 170 suggests methods for mapping such climate-related risks and estimating their subsequent impacts. Space-based information is a key component in this context and supports efforts to estimate the impact on people and agriculture in South Asia.

... read more
Publishing Date: 04/07/2017
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IRNSS satellite to help locate lost trekkers. Image courtesy of Luca Galuzzi from Wikipedia article "Himalayas"

The Indian Space Research Organization launched on the 28 April 2016 the seventh satellite (IRNSS 1G) of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). Being a navigation satellite, this system is likely to be of immense help in finding lost trekkers in the Himalayan ranges, according to the experts.

This satellite can play an important role in the different phases of the risk management cycle, providing information and tracking natural hazards in order to protect population said the Uttarakhand Space Application Centre (USAC).

Durgesh Pant, the director of USAC, said: "We faced a lot of problems in using the US-based satellite systems here in the past. With our very own satellite system now for navigation, numerous other applications could also be used in the near future.... read more

Publishing Date: 20/05/2016
Participants in the UN/India Workshop

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its Programme on Space Applications and the UN-SPIDER platform, together with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), jointly organised the United Nations/India workshop on the Use of Earth Observation Data in Disaster Management and Risk Reduction: Sharing the Asian Experience... read more

Publishing Date: 23/03/2016
Satellite image of India’s Hugli River, one of the many branches of the Ganges (Image: NASA)

NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have joint hands to build an Earth observation satellite called NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Mission). The space artifact will be in charge of measuring changes in the Earth’s surface related to motions of the crust and ice surface, and its launch is scheduled for 2021.

Its mission will comprise snow and glacier studies in the Himalayas, monitoring of... read more

Publishing Date: 31/08/2015
Satellite image of floods in the Mandakini River, Northern India, in 2013 (Image: NASA)

The Government of India has established 176 flood forecasting stations across the country which would help to monitor river flooding during monsoons. The stations use information captured by Indian satellites, including near-real time flood inundation maps provided by the National Remote Sensing Centre.

The Central Water Commission (CWC), belonging to the Ministry Water Resources, is in charge of predicting floods in major rivers and their tributaries through rainfall-runoff models provided by the India Meteorological Department. CWC has also used remote sensing imagery and geographical data for monitoring water bodies in the Himalayan region.

Uma Bharti, Minister of Water Resources, stated... read more

Publishing Date: 14/08/2015
Calcutta city in India during the night. Satellite imagery can contribute to urban planning. (Image: ESA)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will map 500 cities in September this year. Urban planners' work is to be supported by this information and nearly 50 million people are expected to benefit from the outcome.

Satellite images are going to be used by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) to illustrate several features of cities with an average of 100 thousand inhabitants each.

The director of NRSC, V.K Dadwal, highlights the importance of the project for the future, done in cooperation with the Indian government: “the urban development ministry and Isro are working on a master plan formulation of these cities so that a vision document can be made on how the city is to be developed... read more

Publishing Date: 13/08/2015
Bihar is the most flood prone state in India (Image: NASA)

The International Water Management Institute, UN-SPIDER’s regional Support Office, organised together with the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) a day long workshop in Patna, India, to present a new project on the development of the Index‐Based Flood Insurance (IBFI) on August 1.

Due to the constant floods India is facing every year and the huge losses these events produce, the IBFI project aims to implement the use of space technologies such as remote sensing images and geographic information systems (GIS) in order to improve the insurance's payout processes. Along with flood... read more

Publishing Date: 06/08/2015
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Land cleared for "jhoom", a traditional shifting cultivation in Northeast India (Image: Prashanthns)

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Office (RSO), has developed a programme in order to prevent and manage forest fires through the SERVIR-Himalaya Small Grants Programme, and in conjunction with the South Asian Forum for Environment (SAFE). The project includes a platform based on remote sensing information to understand how land use affects forest fires, and awareness campaigns among the local communities of Northeast India.

The platform is a one-window tool that offers data on... read more

Publishing Date: 03/08/2015
INSAT-3D Satellite in 2013, ready to be launched (Image: ISRO)

The Indian advanced weather satellite INSAT-3D has already completed two years of successful activity after its launch on July 26, 2013.

The INSAT-3D mission's main aim is to provide meteorological observations through the monitoring process of land and ocean surfaces and the generation of vertical profile of the atmosphere in terms of temperature and humidity for weather forecasting and disaster warning, among others.

As the Indian Space Research Organisation (... read more

Publishing Date: 30/07/2015
Floods caused by monsoon rains in Indian cities (Image: McKay Savage)

The Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences in collaboration with the Department of Space of the National Remote Sensing Centre, and the Center for Ocean and Atmospheric Prediction Studies (Florida State University), has found a more precise parameter for predicting rainfalls during monsoons. It is called Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT) and  is a better indicator than the currently used Sea Surface Temperature (SST). Scientists state that the SST does not represent the heat energy available to the atmosphere on many occasions as it only takes into account the sea-surface skin, while OMT focuses on the whole upper layer of... read more

Publishing Date: 14/07/2015
The new satellites have been launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India (Image: ISRO)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched on Friday, July 10, three 1 meter resolution optical Earth observation satellites as part of the PSLV-C28 / DMC3 Mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SDSC-SHAR), the spaceport of India.

The three identical DMC3 satellites were built by the British company Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), and have been launched from the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its thirtieth flight (PSLV-C28). These three Earth observation satellites... read more

Publishing Date: 13/07/2015
The INCOIS team is mapping the coastal and inland areas of Puducherry town (Image: NASA)

The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is working on the creation of 3D Geographic Information System (GIS) maps to ease the evacuation of people from vulnerable areas at risk of tsunami or other natural disaster.

The INCOIS team has been focusing on a multi-... read more

Publishing Date: 07/07/2015


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