Following the successful demonstration flights of Bhaskhar and Bhaskara-2 satellites launched in 1979 and 1981, respectively, India began to develop the indigenous Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite program to support the national economy in the areas of agriculture, water resources, forestry and ecology, geology, water sheds, marine fisheries and coastal management.
Towards this end, India had established the National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) for which the Department of Space (DOS) is the nodal agency, providing operational remote sensing data services. Data from the IRS satellites is received and disseminated by several countries all over the world. With the advent of high-resolution satellites new applications in the areas of urban sprawl, infrastructure planning and other large scale applications for mapping have been initiated.
The IRS system is the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites for civilian use in operation today in the world, with 11 operational satellites. All these are placed in polar Sun-synchronous orbit and provide data in a variety of spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions. Indian Remote Sensing Programme completed its 25 years of successful operations on March 17, 2013.
Data from Indian Remote Sensing satellites are used for various applications of resources survey and management under the National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS). Following is the list of those applications:
The initial versions are composed of the 1 (A,B,C,D). The later versions are named based on their area of application including OceanSat, CartoSat, ResourceSat. Some of the satellites have alternate designations based on the launch number and vehicle (P series for PSLV).
|Serial No.||Satellite||Date of Launch||Launch Vehicle||Status|
|1||IRS-1A||17 March 1988||Vostok, USSR||Mission Completed|
|2||IRS-1B||29 August 1991||Vostok, USSR||Mission Completed|
|3||IRS-P1 (also IE)||20 September 1993||PSLV-D1||Crashed, due to launch failure of PSLV|
|4||IRS-P2||15 October 1994||PSLV-D2||Mission Completed|
|5||IRS-1C||28 December 1995||Molniya, Russia||Mission Completed|
|6||IRS-P3||21 March 1996||PSLV-D3||Mission Completed|
|7||IRS 1D||29 September 1997||PSLV-C1||Mission Completed|
|8||IRS-P4 (Oceansat-1)||27 May 1999||PSLV-C2||Mission Completed|
|9||Technology Experiment Satellite (TES)||22 October 2001||PSLV-C3||Mission Completed|
|10||IRS P6 (Resourcesat-1)||17 October 2003||PSLV-C5||In Service|
|11||IRS P5 (Cartosat 1)||5 May 2005||PSLV-C6||In Service|
|12||IRS P7 (Cartosat 2)||10 January 2007||PSLV-C7||In Service|
|13||Cartosat 2A||28 April 2008||PSLV-C9||In Service|
|14||IMS 1||28 April 2008||PSLV-C9||In Service|
|15||Oceansat-2||23 September 2009||PSLV-C14||In Service|
|16||Cartosat-2B||12 July 2010||PSLV-C15||In Service|
|17||Resourcesat-2||20 April 2011||PSLV-C16||In Service|
|18||Megha-Tropiques||12 October 2011||PSLV-C18||In Service|
|19||RISAT-1||26 April 2012||PSLV-C19||In Service|
|20||SARAL||25 Feb 2013||PSLV-C20||In Service|
|21||RESOURCESAT-2A||07 Dec 2016||PSLV-C36||In Service|
|22||Cartosat-2D||15 Feb 2017||PSLV-C37||In Service|
|23||Cartosat-2E||23 June 2017||PSLV-C38||In Service|
Data from IRS are available to its users through NRSC Data Centre and also through Bhuvan Geoportal of ISRO. NRSC data center provide data through its purchase process while Bhuvan Geoportal provides data in free and open domain.
The capacity building programme of ISRO for IRS and other remote sensing applications is through Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) Dehradun and Center of Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP)(UN affiliated) Center located at Dehradun of Uttrakhand State in India.