ISRO Missions and Discoveries

GEMINI system to aid fishermen


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : GEMINI System

Mains level : Tropical Cyclones in India and thier aftermath

  • 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.


  • GEMINI is a portable receiver linked to ISRO-satellites, that is “fail-proof” and warn fishermen of danger.
  • The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), a Hyderabad institute collaborated with Accord, a private company, to develop a box-shaped receiver.
  • It has an antenna and in-built battery that can last three to four days, according to a brochure describing the device.
  • 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.

Why need GEMINI?

  • The satellite-based communication is the only suitable solution for the dissemination of such emergency information.
  • And affordable satellite based communication system should be made part of the dissemination chain to deal with cyclones, high waves and tsunamis.

App interface

  • When GEMINI is connected to an app, it also lets fishermen know the probability of fish-catch in the surrounding seas.
  • Even now it provides services such as storm alerts and advisories of potential fish-catch however it’s dependent on the mobile services provided.

Utility of the device

  • 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.


  • The device allows only one-way communication — it can’t be used by fishermen to make calls, for instance.
  • At ₹9,000 a device, it’s also relatively expensive for the average fisherman, say officials, but attempts are on to subsidise it by as much as 90%.
  • The device could be more easily accessible to India’s 900,000 fishermen if the chips powering mobile phones were able to receive signals from the GAGAN system.
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