Ladakh Delegation visits ISRO to Advance Space Science and Disaster Management
Leh, August 01: A delegation from Ladakh Union Territory (UT) recently visited the Space Application Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (SAC-ISRO) in Ahmedabad. The delegation included prominent figures such as Chairman/CEC, LAHDC Leh, Adv Tashi Gyalson; Executive Councillor, Ghulam Mehdi; Vice Chancellor of University of Ladakh, Prof. SK Mehta, and Dean, Science UoL, Dr. Subrat Sharma. The purpose of their visit was to explore collaborative opportunities to develop science-based decision support systems and advance space science research and education in Ladakh, which is a newly created UT.
During the day-long meeting, SAC scientists presented various scientific applications with a particular focus on Ladakh. As a result of their deliberations, all the organizations involved agreed to work together to establish a joint framework for implementing Ladakh-specific projects known as LAMA (Ladakh-specific Modeling and space Applications). The LAMA project aims to address various issues in Ladakh, including snow and glaciers, water management, agriculture, environment, mineral exploration, geo-tourism, space science education, and capacity building.
The primary objective of the LAMA project is to assess the impacts of climate change on the region, specifically related to cryosphere, hydrology, environment, agriculture, snow and glaciers, land degradation, weather, climate, and forests. The project aims to create a dynamic Ladakh-specific Geoportal to manage and assess natural resources, increase situational awareness, and support academic capacity building. The app will also assist in monitoring weather patterns and cloud bursts, which have become more frequent due to climate change in Ladakh.
CEC Gyalson stressed the need for precision in the assessment and results of the LAMA app and expressed the commitment of Ladakh UT and LAHDC Leh in supporting this initiative. He believes that the app will serve as a unique model for the country in monitoring environmental threats.
Additionally, the University of Ladakh (UoL) will be strengthened through the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in space science education and research. This will be achieved through collaborative research and the use of the field lab of SAC.
The delegation also discussed plans to install ISRO’s Terahertz Telescope for astronomical research in Hanley, Ladakh, which is known for its dark night skies. This telescope aims to raise awareness about astronomy and space research in society. CEC Gyalson requested SAC’s guidance in creating a Science City in Leh with space exhibits to further promote scientific knowledge among students and youth.
To formalize their commitment, the delegation and SAC-ISRO will sign a tripartite MoU in the near future. The Director of SAC Ahmedabad, Nilesh Desai, expressed the center’s dedication to providing timely support to Ladakh UT in developing the LAMA model for disaster management using space science technologies and scientific investigations. A joint science team will be formed to oversee the execution and monitoring of the project.
The delegation also visited Sensors Development Area (SEDA) Lab at SCA-ISRO in Ahmedabad, where they were briefed about space payload assembly and other operations. They also visited SAC-ISRO Bhopal Campus and Vikram Sarabhai Space Application Centre to learn about VEDAS and MOSDAC applications and how the LAMA application will be developed.
Additionally, during their visit to Gujarat, the delegation also interacted with faculty members and students at the Ladakh Cultural Centre at Gujarat University.