digantara

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Recently, the Govt invited private firms to invest in space exploration and tie-up with ISRO to build satellites and rockets. For this India’s first private company in the space sector Called Digiantara has developed India’s first in-orbit space debris monitoring and tracking system. The tracking system works on Light Detection and Ranging technology. 

  • The monitoring and tracking system developed by the space startup Digantara will provide global real-time earth surveillance. It is a real-time earth surveillance working after deploying a constellation of cost-efficient nano satellites in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) lies at an altitude of less than 1000 km.
  • The startup has a mission to secure long-term Spaceflight safety by developing space debris tracking and monitoring services. The company received a Rs 25 lakhs grant from the central govt. The Digantara system will tie-up with international space agencies to track and map space debris. around the earth.
  • The Dirgantara space start-up is planning to establish a small satellite assembly line and production unit with the help of ISRO to develop small satellites in india. 
  • This Project has boosted PM Modi Initiative Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

About LiDAR

  • LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, is a popular remote sensing method used for measuring the exact distance of an object on the earth’s surface. 
  • Even though it was first used in the 1960s when laser scanners were mounted to aeroplanes. 
  • It was only during the 1980s after the introduction of GPS that it became a popular method for calculating accurate geospatial measurements. Now that its scope has spread across numerous fields, we should know more about LiDAR mapping technology and how it works. 
  • LiDAR follows a simple principle — throw laser light at an object on the earth surface and calculate the time it takes to return to the LiDAR source. 
  • The formula that analysts use to arrive at the precise distance of the object is as follows:
    • The distance of the object=(Speed of Light x Time of Flight)/ 2

Applications

  1. To know the exact depth of the ocean’s surface or to locate any object in the case of a maritime accident or for research purposes. LiDAR is also used for calculating phytoplankton fluorescence and biomass in the ocean surface, which otherwise is very challenging.
  2. Terrain elevations play a crucial role during the construction of roads, large buildings and bridges. LiDAR technology has x, y and z coordinates, which makes it incredibly easy to produce the 3D representation of elevations to ensure that concerned parties can draw necessary conclusions more easily.
  3. Helps in the analysis of yield rates, crop scouting and seed dispersions. Besides this, it is also used for campaign planning, mapping under the forest canopy.

LEO 

  • A low Earth orbit (LEO) is, an orbit that is relatively close to Earth’s surface. It is normally at an altitude of less than 1000 km but could be as low as 160 km above Earth – which is low compared to other orbits, but still very far above Earth’s surface.
  • By comparison, most commercial aeroplanes do not fly at altitudes much greater than approximately 14 km, so even the lowest LEO is more than ten times higher than that.
  • Unlike satellites in GEO that must always orbit along Earth’s equator, LEO satellites do not always have to follow a particular path around Earth in the same way – their plane can be tilted. This means there are more available routes for satellites in LEO, which is one of the reasons why LEO is a very commonly used orbit.
  • LEO’s close proximity to Earth makes it useful for several reasons. 
    • It is the orbit most commonly used for satellite imaging, as being near the surface allows it to take images of higher resolution.
    • It is also the orbit used for the International Space Station (ISS), as it is easier for astronauts to travel to and from it at a shorter distance. 
  • Satellites in this orbit travel at a speed of around 7.8 km per second; at this speed, a satellite takes approximately 90 minutes to circle Earth, meaning the ISS travels around Earth about 16 times a day.