Born on October 17, 1952, at Aska in Ganjam district, Dr. Panigrahi completed her Masters in Botany from the Berhampur University in 1974 and did her Ph.D. from IIT, Kharagpur in 1982. She joined the ISRO, Ahmedabad in 1983 as a scientist and retired from service as Principal Scientist in October 2012. She is widely acknowledged for her contribution to the study of remote sensing having direct relevance in the areas of disaster management, cyclone, and flood and crop management.
Dr. Panigrahi worked in the field of remote sensing having direct relevance in the areas of disaster management, cyclone, flood and crop management. Her husband, Dr. Manav Chakrabarty is a nuclear scientist who also worked in ISRO for many years. She has left behind her husband and son Sudeep Chakrabarty who is an engineer. Eminent educationist and Vice-Chancellor of SOA University, Prof Ashok Mohapatra is the brother-in-law of Panigrahi.