Anna University established Institute of Remote Sensing (IRS) in 1982 with the funds provided by Tamil Nadu Government. Over the years, the infrastructural facilities have been gradually built-up using development grants mainly from Ministry of Human Resource Development, University Grants Commission, Federal Republic of Germany, Department of Space, Government of India and Department of Agriculture of Government of Tamil Nadu. At present, the Institute is rated as one of best in the Country in the areas of Remote Sensing, Geographic Information System and large-scale mapping. The Institute functions as an autonomous unit of Anna University governed by an executive committee headed by the Vice-chancellor. The Tamil Nadu Government provides the recurring grants for maintenance. As an externally assisted project, the Federal Republic of Germany has provided assistance worth 7 million DM towards equipment, exchange of staff and for conducting a 4-year engineering Under Graduate programme "B. E. Geoinformatics". The institute has about 2400 sq.mts. of built-up space for various laboratories, equipped with sophisticated equipment worth Rs. 150 million.
- To transfer Remote Sensing and geoinformation Technology and its application to Government Departments and various users through Training Programmes/ Pilot Projects/ Operational Projects.
- To provide academic support to under graduate / post-graduate / Ph.D programmes of the University in the discipline of Remote Sensing and GIS.
- To provide extension services to the user agencies in advisory capacity.
- To develop a data bank consisting of temporal and spatial data products.
- To undertake R & D projects and organize Workshops and Seminars to promote the cause of Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Technology independently or in collaboration with National / International Institutions.