Project NETRA is an early warning system in space developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to identify trash and threats to Indian satellites.
The Indian space agency intends to build a number of observational facilities, including telescopes, networked radars, data processing elements, and a control centre, as part of this project.
The relevance of Project NETRA for India’s space program is discussed in this article. Candidates studying for the IAS test and other government sector exams should pay attention to this topic. Read on to learn more about the Project NETRA UPSC topic.
Project NETRA UPSC: What is Project NETRA?
This initiative will assist ISRO in predicting dangers from debris to Indian satellites that are already in orbit or will be sent into orbit, allowing India to develop its own SSA capacity. NETRA’s ultimate objective is to acquire Geostationary orbit, the 36,000 km location where communication satellites function, although it will first be limited to low-earth orbit.
ISRO plans to build a number of observational facilities, including connected radars, data processing units, telescopes, and a control centre, that will be able to spot, track, and collect objects as small as 10 cm over a range of 3,400 kilometres, roughly equivalent to a space orbit of 2,000 kilometres.
The estimated cost of the NETRA project is ₹400 crore.
Significance of Project NETRA
This initiative is expected to cost around Rs. 400 crores, would assist ISRO in safeguarding Indian spacecraft in orbit.
The project is extremely important in terms of the space program, and the following are some of the most important aspects of Project NETRA:
# Scientists and researchers will be able to see and monitor things as tiny as 10 cm, up to a reach of 3,400 km and equivalent to a space orbit of roughly 2,000 km, using telescopes, radar systems, data processing units, and other tools.
# Its goal is to capture the geostationary orbit (GEO), which is 36000 kilometres distant and where communication satellites function.
# India hopes to develop its own space situational awareness capacity through this program (SSA). This achievement will aid ISRO in predicting any potential harm or threat to Indian spacecraft in space.
# This effort would put India on par with other international space organizations that have been following their satellites to safeguard them from debris and other threats.
# With the aid of this effort, the operational Indian satellites in GEO and LEO orbits may be maintained safe and secure.
What is SSA?
The power to identify any natural or man-made threat that may damage space assets is known as Space Situational Awareness (SSA). As a result, India needs SSA capabilities to protect its space assets.
It will benefit not just the country’s space programs, but also the security of Indian satellites in orbit. India’s SSA would primarily be for low-earth orbits and will centralize debris tracking efforts.
From a defence standpoint, SSA will be beneficial. It will be able to identify any threat from a distance (such as missiles) and issue an early warning.
India now receives information on space junk from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a joint project of the United States and Canada. However, NORAD is unable to provide precise and sufficient data. As a result, this initiative is extremely important to ISRO scientists and researchers.
What is Space Junk?
Any piece of technology or debris left in space by humans is referred to as space rubbish or space debris.
It can refer to huge objects in space after their missions have ended, such as failed or discarded satellites. It can also refer to little things that have dropped from a rocket, such as garbage or paint particles.
Fortunately, space junk no longer poses a serious hazard to our exploration efforts. The hazard poses to other satellites in space is the most serious.
These spacecraft must relocate out of the path of all this oncoming space debris to avoid being hit and may be damaged or killed.
Hundreds of collision avoidance operations are performed annually by all satellites, including the International Space Station, where humans live.
The program would give India its very own space situational awareness (SSA) technologies, similar to those employed by other space superpowers, which would be used to ‘predict’ debris threats to Indian satellites. The ultimate purpose of NETRA is to photograph the GEO (geostationary orbit) landscape at 36,000 kilometres, where communication satellites function.
The first SSA would be for remote-sensing spacecraft in low-earth orbiting, or LEO. ISRO proposes to build a number of observational facilities as part of NETRA, including networked radars, data processing units, telescopes, and a control centre. They can, for example, identify, track, and categorize objects as small as 10 cm over a range of 3,400 km, which is about equivalent to a space orbit of 2,000 km.
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