India shows off satellite intelligence over Kashmir Conflict
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SRINAGAR, KASHMIR, INDIA - SEPTMEBER 26: Indian government forces detain a supporter of, Engineer Abdul Rashid of Awami Ithaad Party, a pro-Indian political party, during a protest march towards the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to protest against the recent killings of civilians by Indian government forces on September 26, 2016. Photo credit: Yawar Nazir/Getty Images Israel

SRINAGAR, KASHMIR, INDIA - SEPTMEBER 26: Indian government forces detain a supporter of, Engineer Abdul Rashid of Awami Ithaad Party, a pro-Indian political party, during a protest march towards the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to protest against the recent killings of civilians by Indian government forces on September 26, 2016. Photo credit: Yawar Nazir/Getty Images Israel

Pakistan lags behind India in the race to develop comprehensive terrain mapping coverage of the region

The Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO, confirmed on Sunday that the country’s military carried out an operation in Kashmir (Pakistan) using imagery from their Cartosat-2C satellites. This is the first time India has publicly disclosed the use of its geospatial intelligence capabilities as part of a military operation.

The Cartosat-2Cs are positioned in low-earth orbit 526 kilometers up, according to the Economic Times. They are the successors to the original Cartosat-1, first deployed in 2005, and continue to be launched in waves alongside other satellite systems, the most recent of which took place in June.

Their high-resolution cameras and video-taking abilities allow them to observe fine details. This 0.65 meter spatial resolution is, “suitable for assessing individual structures as small as a few meters on a side” and frequently requested by both commercial and government customers worldwide.

Regional implications

The Cartosat effort has allowed India to phase out its prior reliance on Ikonos commercial data for mapping purposes. India further hopes to position itself as a major commercial delivery vehicle for satellite launches. ISRO launches run at about 60% of the cost of other organizations, such as the European Space Agency (ESA) or NASA. European and North American entities are already taking advantage of these lowered costs, and each launch gives ISRO more experience to perfect deployment methods for indigenous machines.

The mapping work is coupled with increased work on developing full GPS coverage of the subcontinent. The Ministry of Defense expects to have six mapping satellites deployed within the next few years, including the Cartosat-2C.

India’s military operation in Kashmir has put the Pakistani military in an awkward position where conceding it took place meant it was caught unawares and would also open the room for escalation in response.

Pakistan lacks comparable capabilities for low earth orbit surveillance of Indian territory, though it is possible the country’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) could repurpose the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite system, set to launch in 2017-18. At present, Pakistan has to depend on commercial imagery or shared intelligence from its ally, China, which also launches a number of Pakistani satellites each year.

India and the U.S. already have a mutual geospatial data sharing agreement, as part of a larger series of agreements aimed at strengthening defense cooperation with China in mind.

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  • Heathcliff

    Disastrous situation in Disputed Kashmir & and worst kind of Human Rights Violation.
    Kashmir former Himalayan kingdom once called (Paradise) is again bleeding with no end in sight. More than 100 civilians lose their lives and continue curfew since 88 days and more than 30,000 civilians severely injured more than 1,500 blinded by pellet or shot guns, 12 Million Citizens caged since from 3 months.
    ….. “International Community” should come forward now…..Who will save people of Kashmir from India’s inhuman brutality. Now where they go? Whom to ask for help? Is there anyone in the world? People of Kashmir are also humans I urge International Community please save the humanity in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
    Indian Crimes against Humanity in Disputed Kashmir:
    Since 1989 alone, 119,243 civilians of Kashmir have been murdered by India’s in-security forces. 127,351 children have been orphaned. 42,728 women have been widowed. 9,920 women have been gang raped or molested by India’s military. 138,060 citizens were illegally arrested and incarcerated. 205,861 houses, places of business, mosques, and other architectural structures were razed, and countless people have gone missing . 11,000 mass graves were discovered at the end of 2010, containing the bodies of 11,235 civilians from 57 villages across Northern Kashmir. Indian Inhuman military, paramilitary, and in-security forces were the culprits. Not a single complaint was made against them, and no committee or body was set up by the Indian regime to investigate the horrors.

    “Is this Democracy in India Shame on India “