Tuesday, 6 January 2015

India’s $26 bn space assets enhance security through connectivity

India’s space assets are estimated to be worth $26 billion but they support the country’s huge economy worth hundreds of billion dollars through connectivity.
India’s space assets are estimated to be worth $26 billion but they support the country’s huge economy worth hundreds of billion dollars through connectivity.
This was disclosed recently by India’s top defence scientist, Avinash Chander, while addressing the intelligence community at the 27th Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture. Pointing out that connectivity played a key role in the security of the country, he observed that modern technology had also become a “critical enabler in every phase of the intelligence cycle.” He emphasised the importance of connectivity for both the economy and the country’s security.
From information gathering to information analysis and information dissemination, the impact of technology has not only revolutionized the traditional means of intelligence such as the Human Intelligence (HUMINT), but has also opened new disciplines such as Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT), Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), Cyber Intelligence (CYINT) and Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT).
Space assets like satellites facilitated communications, navigation, mass media and also “our ability to predict cyclones, weather and crops, all are dependent on space”. But all these technologies, “though offering benefits, are not spared from adversary threats”.
Chander, who is secretary (Defence Research & Development) in the defence ministry and director general of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) as well as scientific adviser to the defence minister, laid great emphasis on the importance of intelligence agencies.
“The strength of any nation depends primarily on its intelligence agencies. The intelligence agencies assess potential of the adversaries in terms of their economic strength, defence and industrial infrastructure, communication and transport systems, political leadership, scientific and technical prowess, sociological, cultural and
geographical factors and so on. Thus, the mission of our intelligence agencies is to support defence planning and operations and contribute to national security through a coordinated effort by the entire intelligence community.”
Pointing out that the strength of a country depended a lot on its intelligence apparatus, Chander observed that Indian agencies like the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Joint Cipher Bureau (JCB), Aviation Research Centre (ARC) and National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) are “playing an important role in defining the needs and driving the technologies”. They provide the military with possible threat information and also assist in the management of internal security.
Overall, “our intelligence agencies support defence planning and operations and contribute to national security through a coordinated effort by the entire intelligence community.”
Elaborating the importance of space assets, Chander said that while technology helped in the precise location of a transmitter, fingerprinting the system enabled detection of individual transmitters.
“Precise measurements from space in the hyper- spectral domain are processed to differentiate between decoys and the real targets. It is also possible to detect missile launches and the nuclear radiations based on space based sensors, integrated with information from ground radars and networked sensors.”
Chander said that it was necessary to protect the country’s critical cyber infrastructure. With the expansion of the cyber domain, both the advantages and challenges will grow.
“The (coming) 5G systems will allow massive data transfers upto1Gb/sec. And the data flow and volumes will enhance multi-fold. By 2020, we are expecting to have 50 billion systems connected to the network. Old net structures are giving way to dense cloud structures. Speed of information processing doubles every 12-18 months, parallel processing with optical interconnects on a single chip are enhancing the computation capability.
“A single breakthrough capability like quantum computation can change the entire scenario.”
DRDO, he said, had made indigenous efforts for threat identification, risk assessment, trustworthy development, indigenousl architecture high assurance platforms and high assurance systems evaluation.
Chander had told India Strategic (www.indiastrategic.in) recently that critical software for several defence systems imported by the Indian armed forces is being developed and provided by DRDO.
Source : Defence News

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