Suresh Prabhu congratulates ISRO for launching 104 Satellites in one go; seeks ISRO’s help in Rail Safety & Security

NEW DELHI: Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu today congratulated the Scientists and all the other officials of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for successfully launching 104 Satellites in one go from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre of ISRO, Sriharikota.  He lauded the officials stating that the ISRO Scientists have made enormous quality efforts in the last two decades in fulfilling various successful milestones to put India on top of the global footprint and in establishing its name and reputation in the field of advanced space sciences, technology and innovation.

The Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday successfully launched a record number of 104 satellites including the Cartosat-2 in one go on board a single rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The satellites will be injected into the sun synchronous orbit at different slots at different angles and at different times.

Indian Railways on Mar 17, 2016 joined hands with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for effective use of space technology tools in introduction of web-enabled rail user-centric services, remote sensing and graphic information system (GIS) based applications.

Suresh Prabhu directed the Railway Officials to pursue the possibilities of using the technology from ISRO specific to the Safety and Security of Railway systems in India to enhance the Operational Efficiency of Indian Railways in the days to come, citing the examples of GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation projects undertaken by Airports Authority of India in association with ISRO for achieving navigational excellence and greater operational efficiency in commercial aerospace.

Apart from the principal payload Cartosat-2 series satellite and two more nano-satellites weighing less than 10 kilogram, 101 other co-passengers are from foreign countries including one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates and 96 from the US.

The Russian Space Agency held the record of launching 37 satellites in a single go in 2014. The US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration has launched 29 satellites, while ISRO successfully launched 20 satellites in June 2015.

Terming the inking of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) as “not the marriage of convenience but the marriage of necessity”, Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said the initiative would help both Indian Railways and ISRO.

He also pitched for use of technology by the Railways to solve day-to-day problems and asked the national transporter to keep modernising itself by constantly updating with the latest technology in association with prestigious organisations like DRDO/ISRO/IITs and IIMs.

“We need to use technology for solving day-to-day problems. Lot of changes have taken place over a period of time. Our challenge is not just to use technology but how to constantly keep update with the technology. Railways have to keep modernising,” Prabhu said.

ISRO Deputy Director PG Diwakar and Railway Board Executive Director (Telecom Development) Shobhan Chaudhuri were the signatories of the MoU for developing applications in the field of remote sensing and Graphic Information System (GIS). RailNews when contacted Mr.Sobhan Chaudhuri at Railway Board on today’s ISRO’s successful launch and the related developments, he, being the signatory to the MOU with ISRO is totally unaware of the developments and said that he is not interested or supposed to talk anything! When asked again for a simple technical comment, he doesn’t have any answer. Railways should have posted those people driven with positive energy and vision to steer Indian Railways into an organisation of global excellence and not those persons without any subject knowledge on day to day developments and technological advancements in the country that could helps Railways in its day to day functions.

The MoU is enviisaged to use of space technology tools in various services of Railway industry in India – provide passenger information for all trains, indicating next station/stoppage, real-time train-tracking, survey of new rail route alignments particularly in hilly and difficult terrains. It will also aid in conducting track vulnerability studies, mapping of assets, audio-visual warning to road users at unmanned level crossing gates and introduction of web-enabled rail user-centric services.

Currently, Railways is using space technology for providing connectivity to Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters and unreserved ticketing system at remote and non-rail head locations.

Besides this, the technology is being used for emergency communication using satellite phones from disaster sites, Global Positioning System (GPS) for various applications like remote monitoring of locomotives, passenger information system in Mumbai suburban trains, synchronised clocks and WiFi facility in select Rajdhani Express trains.