Dr. George Joseph started his
research career in 1962 at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR),
Bombay, where he was involved in the study of cosmic rays. At TIFR, as part of
his research work, Dr. Joseph developed a number of particle detector systems
such as scintillation, Cerenkov and spark chamber detectors for use in balloon
borne exper¬iments to study cosmic rays. A novel detector system designed by him
was flown on the first Indian Satellite ARYABHATA to detect solar neutrons. He
was first amongst the few to set useful upper limits on the solar neutron flux
which is fundamental to the understanding of solar surface nuclear reactions.
Since 1973, at Space Applications Centre (SAC), he was instrumental in
de¬veloping a variety of electro-optical sensors for earth observations which
were first of its kind in India. These include ground-truth radiometers,
multispectral scan¬ners, multiband TV camera for BHASKARA satellite, CCD cameras
for the operational Indian Remote Sensing satellite (IRS), Very High Resolution
Radiometer (VHRR) for meteorological observation from INSAT, etc.
Dr. George Joseph
(Dec. 2006 -
Excellent performance of IRS
with high quality imageries generated by its CCD camera, and the excellent
pictures from VHRR have put India amongst a few select countries of the world
with earth observation capability from space. The IRS PAN Camera with a
resolution of 5 meter flown on IRS 1C in 1995 was the best spatial resolution
civilian earth observation system at that time. As a part of these efforts, he
has established an electro-optical laboratory, which is comparable to the best
in the world with capability to design, manufacture and test a variety of
complex optical systems and sensors of state-of-the-art. He is rightfully
considered the pioneer of satellite based imaging sensors in the country.
Apart from being the guiding force for the development of all earth observation
remote sensors developed by ISRO, Dr Joseph has made substantial contribution
towards the realisation of various remote sensing related activities such as
data products generation, image processing techniques, and evolving methodology
for utilisation of Remote Sensing data for various applications.
During 1998–2003, as Satish Dhawan Distinguished Professor, Dr. Joseph has been
engaged in research/studies related to various aspects of remote sensing
technology & applications and actively involved in shaping and guiding remote
sensing programmes of India. He chaired the committee to evolve a 25 years Earth
Observation Programme, which brought out a strategic plan – EO 2025. Another
noteworthy contribution of Dr Joseph during this period is the study report on
Indian Mission to Moon in the capacity as Chairman, Lunar Mission Study Task
During 2006-2009, he was Director, Centre for Space Science and Technology
Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTE-AP), (affiliated to UN) with
headquarters at Dehradun.
Dr. Joseph has served in a number of national and international committees/organisations
including President of Technical Commission–1 of the International Society for
Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) during 1996-2000.
He has published a number of scientific papers in national/international
journals. He has authored a book titled `Fundamentals of Remote Sensing’,
which is the first complete textbook on remote sensing written by an Indian
author for beginners.
He is Fellow of number of National Academies such as: Indian Academy of
Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, India, and Indian National Academy of
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to electro optical sensor
development and for his distinguished achievements in furthering the remote
sensing utilization in the country, he has been honored in 1999 by the
Government of India’s civilian award – Padma Bhushan.
Other awards he received include SICO – National Academy of Science Award for
instrumentation in 1968, Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Foundation for Science and
Technology Award in 1987 in the discipline Space and Aerospace, Bhaskara
Award for the year 1997 by the Indian Society of Remote Sensing for his
outstanding lifetime contribution towards development of onboard sensors in
Indian Remote Sensing Satellite system, Aryabhata Award instituted by
Astronautical Society of India for outstanding lifetime contribution to the
promotion of astronautics in India-2007, Outstanding Achievement award by
ISRO-2008, Geospatial Technologies Lifetime Achievement Award-2008, and Ministry
of Earth Sciences (MOES) award for lifetime contribution in Ocean Science and
technologies in 2009s.
Some of the contributions during his tenure as Director CSSTEAP include having
an agreement with ITC, The Netherlands and CSSTEAP to exempt CSSTEAP RS&GIS
diploma holders to have exemption of a few credits when they appear for ITC
postgraduate course. He has also generated a document ‘CSSTEAP Performance
Assessment and Outlook for the Future’ giving a critical assessment of how
CSSTEAP has been performing and some managerial changes for better functioning
of the Center.