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This Satellite-based Advisory Service Will Notify Deep Sea Fishermen of Upcoming Disasters

fishermen

To ensure flawless and effective dissemination of alerts & other important disaster-related information to fishermen who venture deeper into the seas, the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) together with Airport Authority of India (AAI) on launched a new system last week.

The government in a release said this new system that consists of a specially designed device & a mobile app would expand the scope of sending out warnings and other messages to the fishermen who are out in the seas for several days for fishing & other related activities. Currently, the fishermen get advisories, forecasts & early warnings from a broad range of mechanisms like Potential Fishing Zone advisories, ocean state forecasts, high wave alerts, tsunami & storm surge early warning services. But, all these messages can only get transmitted up to 10 - 12 km from the coast.

The new system has been named GEMINI (GAGAN Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information) and it is based on GAGAN (GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) satellite system made by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) & AAI. The GAGAN satellite system has 3 geosynchronous satellites - GSAT-8, GSAT-10 & GSAT-15 and these cover the whole Indian Ocean region all the time.

fisherman

With the help of this new system, all the important alerts & messages will be sent via GAGAN and the designated device will receive & transfer it to a mobile phone with the help of Bluetooth communication. The related mobile application will then decode & display the information to the user. It can be decoded into 9 languages.

The Government release said that the technology for this new device has been assigned to Acord, a company based in Bengaluru.

Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan had launched GEMINI system. He also launched an enhanced version of PFZ forecasts made by the INCOIS. This new version will give the advisories 3 days in advance.

The predictions are generated with the help of modern tools of numerical models & are likely to help in providing the advisories even when there are cloudy skies.

The introduction of this new satellite-based advisory service system has come after the gap in communication that was felt during Ockhi cyclone in 2017. At that time, fishermen who were out in the sea for fishing could not be informed of the storm that led to the loss of lives and property of the fishermen.



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