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ISRO sets up  ‘NETRA’ – Dedicated Control Centre for Space Situational Awareness

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ISRO sets up dedicated control centre for Space Situational AwarenessIndian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has set up ‘NETRA’ (NEtwork for space object TRacking and Analysis) – an dedicated Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Control Centre at ISTRAC (ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network) Campus at Peenya, Bengaluru, Karnataka. The main objective of NETRA is to protect Indian Space Assets from Space debris close approaches and collisions.

i.NETRA will act as the hub for all SSA activities in India and has been set up as a ‘Directorate of Space Situational Awareness and Management (DSSAM)’.

ii.Only America, Russia and Europe have similar SSA capabilities to track space objects and share collision warnings.

iii.NETRA was formally inaugurated by ISRO Chairman K Sivan on December 14, 2020.

Key Points:

i.The main components of NETRA would be a radar, an optical telescope facility and a control centre. It will assist Foreign countries and International bodies.

ii.SSA will also perform

  • Close approach analysis between ISRO satellite and launch vehicles
  • Circulation of alerts regarding collision avoidance of operational assets &
  • Prediction of atmospheric re-entry of ruined satellites and rocket bodies.

Other activities at NETRA:

i.Dedicated labs will be set up at NETRA for mitigation and remediation of space debris and compliance verification of Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC).

ii.Several Research & Development (R&D) activities such as Space object fragmentation & break up modelling, space debris population, micrometeoroid environment modelling, space weather studies, Near Earth objects and planetary defence studies will be carried out at NETRA.

Space Situational Awareness (SSA):

i.SSA is the science of tracking objects (man-made and natural) which are in orbit and predicting their position at a given point in time.

ii.SSA acquires significance as it is important for safe and sustainable space operations.

Recent Related News:

i.On November 7, 2020 ISRO launched earth observation satellite EOS-01 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) or Sriharikota Range (SHAR), Andhra Pradesh (AP) along with 9 international customer satellites.

About Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO):
Chairman – K Sivan
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka