BHUBANESWAR: The experimental study of Chilika lagoon using airborne visible imaging infrared spectrometer (AVIRIS) mounted on an aircraft from US kicked off on Friday.
The aircraft, specially-flown in from United States, took off from Biju Patnaik International Airport at about 1.30 pm and made sorties over the lagoon and its catchment areas to capture very high-resolution pictures using the infrared imaging system.
The campaign will continue for next three to four days depending on the weather. In fact, the aircraft, which has been brought here as a collaborative project of ISRO's Space Application Centre (SAC) and NASA, arrived in the City on Thursday but given the climatic conditions, the data capturing could not be possible.
The data generated by the experimental study will lead to preparation of an SOP for biological and geographic parametres of Chilika lagoon and its basin eco-system. This is for the first time that a hyperspectral study is being conducted in India.
The imaging process will provide a greater understanding of the coastal ecosystem's important 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.
A total of 24 scientists and experts from the Space Application Centre, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur and Chilika Development Authority (CDA) are collecting the data on ground even as the imaging exercise is underway.
Apart from underwater and over the water samples, the experts are also collecting data from the catchment of the lake. "The sample collection and submission process have to be completed on a daily basis for synchronisation with the AVIRIS imaging which the experts, divided in four groups, are carrying out," Chief Executive of CDA Ajit Kumar Patnaik said. For the special study, the ISRO had already secured all statutory clearances.