Now, natural disaster alerts on TV

June 17th, 2008 - 8:15 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of ISRO

Bangalore, June 16 (IANS) Indian satellites will alert state agencies and the public about imminent natural disasters through direct-to-home (DTH) television broadcasts, a top space agency official said here Monday. “In the next six months, (state-run) Doordarshan will relay warning signals from Insat transponders in Ku-band on impending disasters through a DTH receiver linked to the national disaster management support system in New Delhi,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G. Madhavan Nair told IANS on the sidelines of a function here late Monday.

“The advance alert will enable state agencies and the public to prepare for any natural calamity and minimise damage to life and property,” he added.

“As against expensive and heavy equipment consisting of an antenna, power supply system and a TV booster, we have developed a lighter DTH receiver that can be hooked to a TV set for receiving advance warning through voice or signals even while watching any channel,” Nair pointed out.

ISRO has commissioned state-run Bharat Electronics Ltd to manufacture about 1,000 DTH receiver sets for supplying to state agencies and other stakeholders.

“The receivers, costing less than Rs.10,000 per set, can be installed by state governments in disaster-prone or coastal areas for alerting people in advance about heavy rains, cyclones, high-speed winds, tsunami and other natural disasters.

“The novel project will be launched on a pilot basis by this year-end using Doordarshan’s DTH platform,” Nair said after delivering the valedictory address at an international seminar on disaster management.

Private DTH operators such as Tata Sky, Dish TV, Sun TV and others will subsequently be roped in to offer the service on their platform as they are also using ISRO’s Ku-band transponders to telecast their bouquet of channels.

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