Summer Internship at Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (ISRO) – Aishwarya Gupta from BITS Pilani

Aishwarya Gupta interned with Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), a unit of ISRO, and shares her wonderful experience of interning there. Aishwarya is a student at BITS Pilani. Read on to explore her interesting days in IISR.

The dream of many young minds, to be associated with NASA, ISRO, etc, where you can actually explore the limitless universe. When I first heard about IIRS (Indian Institute of Remote Sensing), it amused me. It could happen to anyone as we Indians actually have a pulse wave travel through our body whenever we hear something like “Indian Institute of ” (Technology or Management). So what further increased my excitement was when I came to know that IIRS is a unit of ISRO. It seemed like my childhood dream came true. It was a win win situation for me, IIRS and place Dehradun, what anyone wants from his life. My hopes and aspirations were on the mountain top. So here’s my two cents trying to capture the two months in as much detail as my memory serves me.

After our semester was over, it was time for some masti, excitement and a lot of adventure. It was time for our two months internship at IIRS, Dehradun. My mom and brother accompanied me to Dehradun to make sure that I don’t face any trouble with accommodation or journey. When we first reached Dehradun station, it was drizzling as if the nature was welcoming us open heartedly. Though the station was not fully developed, but it was the exact thing that I wanted. Who wants to spend the summer in hot, irritating weather of congested metropolitan cities when one can enjoy the ‘Nature at its best’ at Dehradun.

The first day when I entered the campus of IIRS, my heart was full of different emotions. First, the campus was full of natural beauty, one could see Mussoorie Hills from the campus. For the first time in my life I’ve seen Litchis growing on trees. I was feeling highly honored to become a part of such prestigious organisation. Also when you see a bunch of people from your college at a new unknown place, you feel a lot safer and secure. The orientation programme began in which we visited the various departments of IIRS, agriculture department, forest and ecology, marine and atmosphere. To see people working so passionately, was mesmerizing.

When our project began, we didn’t have a single clue about what we are going to do. Though we have used Google Earth, but how are we going to develop something like that? Though we are masters of Photography, but what is Photogrammetry? It took us several days to discover what exactly we have to do in our project. Once we got the lead then all things followed it. Apart from the work, the different trips to Buddha monastery, Forest Research Institute, Santala Devi, Mussoorie, Robber’s Cave. It was a heaven on earth. The more I explored these places, the more satisfaction I got at heart. The more I explored Mother nature, the more I discovered myself. It was a total bliss.

At the evenings, I would go on walks. Thereby came to know that sometimes the journey is much more important than the destination. Dehradun, as a city, is a perfect place for everyone. One can see the hustle bustle of life but at the same time, nature can calm your senses. Though it is a concrete forest from outside, but at its core, you can find places which are untouched by the population.

The work was not boring. In fact, we were given the task to develop a MATLAB code to automatically generate 3D coordinate points of the object using various 2D images based on principles of Photogrammetry. Interesting, eh! Initially we weren’t sure that we would be able to make it, but because of our supervisors’ guidance and team members support, we could make it ! It was so interesting, that we never realized when the two months flew away.
At our final presentation, we rocked..!! The instructors’ and supervisors were very impressed and they acknowledged our efforts. Our happiness was doubled when our Head of the department told that our MATLAB code will be modified further and will be used by ISRO.
It all started with a small dream, to be a part of ISRO, but I could never imagine that I’ll be able to contribute to it as well.

My two months internship was actually a roller coaster ride, full of ups and down. I came to Dehradun only with hopes and aspirations but when I returned, I had a bag full of memories, new friends, amazing trips. IIRS, Dehradun taught me about team work, motivation, independence, zeal and enthusiasm to achieve something great, to always have belief in oneself. Thank you IIRS, Dehradun for everything.

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