31-12-2017 08:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Satellite helps to warn Kerala’s deep-sea fishermen
The ISRO has developed India’s regional satellite navigation system (NAVIC) and has dedicated it to the country’s boatmen. It is all set to be applied to warn Kerala’s fishermen about changing weather patterns.
Questions about the safety and security of fisherfolk at sea were raised in the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi, in which over 70 fishermen lost their lives in Kerala alone. Now, through NAVIC, warnings and messages will be sent to the fishermen from the shore.
In January, fishing boats and deep-sea vessels in Kerala will be fitted with satellite-enabled communication gadgets, manufactured with ISRO’s technology. This will make it possible to warn fishermen about changing weather like strong winds or cyclone.
MC Dathan, scientific advisor to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the device has a receiver in place of a transmitter and allows only allows for one-way communication, but it is an established and proven system. He added that ISRO has promised to supply 250 communication sets by January 10 with the rest coming in later weeks.
In order to transmit the messages using NAVIC system, the ISRO has teamed up with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and the India Meteorological Department (IMD). A master control room, set up at Thiruvananthapuram, and six regional control rooms near main harbours such as Kochi, Kollam and Kozhikode will be a part of the warning system.
Dr Balakrishnan Nair, a scientist at INCOIS said that messages can be sent to fishermen up to 1500 kilometres. He added that they will be sending daily updates of the sea state, current wave conditions and whether there will be extreme weather events.