16th March, 2023 Science and Technology
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- The ground station of the India-Bhutan Satellite, which has been built in Thimpu, has been inaugurated.
- It is a ground-based facility that helps communicate with and receive information sent by satellite. Ground stations, the major component of which is the parabolic antenna, communicate with satellites by transmitting and receiving radio waves.
- This ground station will enable Bhutan to receive data from India-Bhutan SAT, pertaining to its territory, directly from the satellite and process it in real time.
- BhutanSat was launched as a piggyback payload on ISRO's PSLV C54 rocket on November 26, 2022.
- The primary satellite payload was Indo-French ocean observation satellite EOS-6 and there were eight nanosatellites on board including BhutanSat.
- The 'INS-2B' or BhutanSat is ISRO's second nanosatellite for Bhutan. It comprises two payloads — NanoMx and APRS-Digipeater. The NanoMx is a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by India's Space Applications Centre (SAC).
- The satellite could capture images of Bhutan for mapping forests, urban settlements, and landslide-prone areas and can enable amateur ham radio text messaging services.
- BhutanSat launch is a historic moment and a key milestone in India-Bhutan ties. This is just a beginning of collaborative efforts in using outer space and a small beginning for Bhutan's fledgling space programme
MAINS PRACTICE QUESTION
Q. There is a great opportunity for India and Bhutan on expanding space tech cooperation through capacity building and focus on the application of space data and technology across sectors for the benefit of people. Comment.