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ISRO, NASA to Engage in Chilika Lake for India's First Hyperspectral Study

Published: 22nd December 2015 03:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2015 03:41 AM   |  A+A-

ECOLOGICAL

BHUBANESWAR: To study the biological and geographic parameters of Chilika lagoon and its basin eco-system, the Space Application Centre of ISRO with support from NASA is all set to carry out a hyperspectral study next week, a first of its kind in India.

A special aircraft will be flown in from the US, mounted with the device called Airborne Visual Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), for this purpose. The aircraft will reach Bhubaneswar on December 26. The aircraft will be parked at Biju Patnaik International Airport and will make four sorties a day during the study period.

Scientists from Space Application Centre; IIT Khargpur; IIT Kanpur; National Institute of Oceanography, Goa and Indian Remote Sensing Society, Dehradun will be involved in the study to collect the data on ground.

The multidisciplinary team of more than 30 scientists with radiometers and other equipment required for the highly specialised study already have started to reach the State. This is for the first time that such an experiment would be carried out outside USA and Canada where hyperspectral study has been conducted to map natural resources.

“All statutory clearances have already been obtained by ISRO for this special campaign. Scientists from Chilika Development Authority (CDA) will also participate in the study which would lead to development of a number of algorithms to help improve monitoring and management of the lake ecosystem,” Chief Executive of CDA Ajit Patnaik told this paper on Monday.

The study which will not only study the bio optical parameters using aerial hyperspectral data, it will also generate data necessary to understand coastal systems, anthropogenic influences and climate change.

Hyperspectral sensors onboard the special aircraft are equipped to study as well as characterise optical and biological dynamics of coastal oceans which are poorly understood in regions surrounding the Indian subcontinent. Use of the imaging process will greatly enhance understanding of some of these ecosystem variables through estimation of total suspended sediments, aerosol optical depths, coloured dissolved organic matter flux, primary productivity, chlorophyll absorption,  phytoplanktons and detection of harmful algal blooms and invasive species.

Apart from aerial study, radiometers will also be used for underwater study to oceanic constituents for validating the data.

Patnaik said, periodic monitoring of the oceanic coasts require frequent sampling with higher resolution sensors which entail huge cost. This experiment, however, will not only generate a gamut of data but also provide an SOP for the monitoring and management practices.

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