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April 8th, 2008
ASRC Management Services and the USDA Discuss Resourcesat Future Sensor Needs and Improvements

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PR — The Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Mr. Madhavan Nair invited executives from the ASRC Management Services Team (ASRC MS), and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA FAS) Remote Sensing Coordinating Committee Team Members to provide their input and recommendations regarding the “future sensor needs of the IRS Satellite Constellation” for agricultural and environmental applications.
This interactive meeting hosted at the India Embassy Annex in Washington, DC, began with Robert Tetrault, Satellite Archive Manager, USDA FAS providing an overview of how the USDA FAS utilizes the Resourcesat P6 imagery for major applications, discussing its collection strategy, and reviewing the 2008 USDA FAS plan for data use and purchases.  Mr. Tetrault also highlighted the cost savings of using the Resourcesat 1 (P6) data and its additional benefits such as better-than-16 day revisit cycle, larger swath coverage, and exceptional delivery times.  Dr. Raymond Hunt, Research Physical Scientist, USDA Agricultural Research Services, (USDA ARS) Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory then provided the specific advanced sensor characteristics that the Remote Sensing Committee Team Members believed would provide the greatest benefits for the agricultural and environmental communities onboard Resourcesat 3.  The presentations were very well received and reviewed by the ISRO contingency and Chairman Nair.  Follow up on this topic is expected again in late summer 2008.
 
At the conclusion of the meeting, Tim Lewis, President, ASRC MS, presented Chairman Nair an AWiFS print of the Chesapeake Bay area stating, “As the exclusive provider of the Resourcesat 1 (P6) and Cartosat (P5) data in the U.S., ASRC MS wants to thank you for your on-going support for the India Remote Sensing program, and to thank you specifically for extending the invitation to provide you with specific sensor input for Resourcesat 3 by USDA (the largest US client for Resourcesat P6 data).”
 
Those in attendance from ASRC MS included Tim Lewis, ASRC MS, President, J. Edward Kunz, ASRC MS and Ed Hessler, ASRC MS, Dr. Shawana P. Johnson, Global Marketing Insights, Inc., Robert Tetrault, USDA FAS, Dr. Bradley Doorn, USDA FAS, Virender Kumar, ISRO, Dr. Raymond Hunt, USDA ARS, and Timothy Puckorius, EOTec.
 
History of ISRO:
The Government of India set up Space Commission and Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972.  The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) under the DOS executes Space programs through its establishments located in different places in India.  The main objective of space program includes development of satellites, launch vehicles, Sounding Rockets and associated ground systems.   The prime objective of ISRO is to develop space technology and its application to various national tasks. ISRO has established two major space systems, INSAT for communication, television broadcasting and meteorological services, and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) system for resources monitoring and management. ISRO has developed two satellite launch vehicles, PSLV and GSLV, to place INSAT and IRS satellites in the required orbits.
 
Since its formation in 1972, ISRO has launched numerous satellites which include the IRS (Indian Remote Sensing) satellite series, the INSAT (Indian National Satellite) series (in Geo-Stationary orbit), the GSAT series (launched using GSLV) and METSAT 1 (launched by PSLV). As of 2007, the total number of satellites of all varieties built by ISRO is 45.
 
Mr. Madhavan Nair is currently the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization entrusted with the responsibility of development of space technology and its applications to solve the problems of man & society in India.  He graduated in Engineering from Kerala University in 1966 and underwent training at Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), Bombay. He joined Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1967. Since then, he has held various positions posting illustrious milestones on his way to his present position. As Chairman of the Space Commission he is responsible for chalking out the future plan for space research in India.
 
In the international arena, Chairman Nair has led the Indian delegations for bilateral cooperation and negotiations with many Space Agencies and Countries such as France, Russia, Brazil, and Israel.  He has been instrumental in working out mutually beneficial international cooperative agreements and has led the Indian delegation to the S&T Sub-Committee of United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) since 1998.
 
The government of India presented the highly coveted "Padma Bhushan" award to him in 1998 in recognition of his services to the Country and to Society.
 
About ISRO:  http://www.isro.org
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is India’s national space agency. With its headquarters in Bangalore, the ISRO employs approximately 20,000 people, with a budget of around US$815 million at March 2006 exchange rate. Its mandate is the development of technologies related to space and their application to India’s development. The current Chairman of ISRO is G. Madhavan Nair. In addition to domestic payloads, it offers international launch services.
 
About USDA FAS:
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has the primary responsibility for USDA’s international activities—market development, trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection and analysis of statistics and market information.  As such a primary mission of FAS is to target, collect, analyze, and disseminate timely, objective, useful, and cost-effective global crop condition and agricultural production information. The purpose is to provide unbiased commodity estimates and forecasts to create a marketing edge for U.S. producers in world markets. For more information, contact Bob Tetrault, Satellite and Archive Manager, at robert.tetrault@fas.usda.gov or call 202-690-0130.
 
About USDA ARS:
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific research agency.  ARS conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide information access and dissemination to: ensure high-quality, safe food, and other agricultural products; assess the nutritional needs of Americans; sustain a competitive agricultural economy; enhance the natural resource base and the environment; and provide economic opportunities for rural citizens, communities, and society as a whole. For more information contact Dr. Raymond Hunt at Raymond.Hunt@ars.usda.gov or call 301-504-5278.
 
About ARSC Management Services: www.asrcms.com
ASRC Management Services (ASRC MS), a highly diversified enterprise formed in September 2002, is dedicated to providing professional services including; Information Science, Information Systems and Information Technology Services to the Federal Government. ASRC MS has extensive experience supporting science based agencies including USGS, EPA, NASA, NOAA, Fish and Wildlife, and the USDA with a full array of remote sensing and GIS services.  Core corporate capabilities include application development, engineering, technical services, geographical information systems, satellite imagery analysis, information and records management, information technology, and professional services. Ed Kunz is the Program Manager for the Geospatial line of business at ASRC MS and can be reached at 301-837-5354 or via email at ed.kunz@asrcms.com.
 

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