India may soon have a satellite technology-driven emergency warning system, devised by an Indian itself, providing forewarnings on impending disasters.
Developed by US-based wireless technology major WorldSpace's Senior Vice-President S Rangarajan, the system has been named Addressable Radio for Emergency Alert (AREA) and would help in reaching out to people in remote areas during times of both natural and man-made disasters.
"We are planning to introduce the product in India as early as possible. Optimistically, we expect to launch the system especially in the coastal districts, which are prone to natural disasters, by 2008. Later, we plan to move to other regions," Rangarajan told PTI.
Rangarajan was formerly programme director at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
AREA is expected to deliver the 'disaster alert' within seconds of its transmission from the authorised authority and also has the provision to get connected to a siren.
Further, the device can be powered by small solar panels and the antennas are compact in size. In normal times, the system can be used for infotainment purposes.
"The receiver automatically turns on even when it is not in use at the time of the alert," Rangarajan added.
In terms of cost, each system would be costing a few thousand rupees depending on AREA configuration -- whether it is attached to a computer or a fixed location, with public address for the community, among others.
AREA is the result of a joint effort by primarily three players -- Sri Lanka's Sarvodaya, Learning Initiatives on Reforms for Network Economies (LIRNEasia) and WorldSpace.