A Phantom drone by DJI company, equipped with a camera, flies during the 4th Intergalactic Meeting of Phantom's Pilots (MIPP) in an open secure area in the Bois de Boulogne, western Paris, March 16, 2014. Reuters/Charles Platiau

India plans to use satellite data and geospatial technology to develop plans and projects for managing its national highways and roads.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) with the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) National Remote Sensing Centre and the North East Centre for Technology Application and Research for use of spatial technology. The data provided by space technology will be used to prepare detailed project reports as well as pre-feasibility studies for upgrade and widening of roads. It will also help in monitoring of road segments under construction, reports the Economic Times.

Initially, NHAI will undertake pilot projects with both organisations to ascertain the use and benefits of satellite data, geospatial technology and UAV technology in the highway and infrastructure sector. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology will help in monitoring, construction progress and Road Asset Management. It will also facilitate preparation of feasibility and project reports, immediate assessment and solution of problematic spots.

NHAI will take up some pilot projects with both organisations to ensure that the project-related work is streamlined and its benefits are understood properly. A technical cell will also be set up, which will run 24/7 to provide relevant project-specific data to project consultants and engineers.

NHAI has the responsibility of handling the National Highways Development Project, besides others related to the development, maintenance and management of India’s national highways, reports the Business Standard. NHAI is required to make use of advanced and multiple technologies for this purpose. The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a part of ISRO, is the central point for distribution of remote sensing satellite data products in India.