Why in News?
India has joined Europe’s mega global arrangement of sharing data from earth observation satellites, called Copernicus.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
The Sentinel Satellite Fleet is part of the Copernicus program – the European Commission’s Earth Observation Program formerly known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security). Copernicus aims to achieve an autonomous and operational Earth observation capacity.
The program uses data provided by environmental satellites, and air & ground stations to provide a comprehensive set of land, atmospheric and oceanographic parameters in support of environment and security policy needs.
The Copernicus emergency response mapping system was activated on at least two Indian occasions — during the 2014 floods in Andhra Pradesh in October 2014 and after the 2013 storm in Odisha.
The free and open data policy
Under this arrangement, the European Commission intends to provide India with free, full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites using high bandwidth connections. Reciprocally the Department of Space will provide the Copernicus programme and its participating states with a free, full and open access to the data from ISRO’s land, ocean and atmospheric series of civilian satellites (Oceansat-2, Megha-Tropiques, Scatsat-1, SARAL, INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR) with the exception of commercial high-resolution satellites data,
The space-based information will be used for forecasting disasters, providing emergency response and rescue of people during disasters; to glean land, ocean data; and for issues of security, agriculture, climate change and atmosphere, according to a statement issued by the European Commission here.