GEMINI-GAGAN Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation &Information 

Context: To avoid communication blackouts that led to 20 fishermen going missing in the aftermath of Cyclone Okchi in 2017, a slew of government departments, research agencies and private companies have developed GEMINI Satellite, a portable receiver linked to ISRO-satellite ‘s, that is “fail-proof” and warn fishermen of danger.

GEMINI Satellite

  • The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), a Hyderabad institute collaborated with Accord, a private company, to develop GEMINI (GAGAN Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information) a simple handheld device that receives the information transmitted through GAGAN and feeds that to the mobile handset through Bluetooth connection.
  • An App developed by INCOIS converts the satellite messages in the form of readable maps and text.
  • The decoded information can be viewed on the mobile in any of the languages spoken in the coastal states of India.
  • The Mobile app receives the GPS information (Current Position, Satellite Date & Time) as well as the following broadcasted messages.
  • Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) Advisory
  • High Wave Alert & Strong Wind Alert
  • Cyclone and Tsunami Warning Information
  • Maximum Wind Speed, Maximum Wave Height, Maximum Current Speed
  • Bathymetry, Distance & Direction
  • GEMINI works on GAGAN, developed by ISRO and the Airports Authority of India and is an India-made global positioning system and relies on the positioning system by ISRO’s GSAT satellites.
  • With this device, fishermen outside the signal range of their phone companies can also access warnings and alerts.
  • Mobile phone frequencies cannot be accessed 10-12 km beyond the coast and with GEMINI this range can increase to 300 nautical miles, according to a press release.
  • The device only allows one-way communication — it can’t be used by fishermen to make calls, for instance.
  • of India has made provision for such devices under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMSSY) scheme.
  • Under this scheme, support is provided to procure PFZ devises, network and cost of installation as part of “Strengthening of safety and security of fishermen”.


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