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NISAR Mission

  • Published
    22nd Jan, 2024
Context

NISAR Mission on track for early 2024 launch.

Key Highlights
  • Launch Date and Status:
    • The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is set for an "early 2024" launch.
    • The mission is on track, with final tests scheduled for the current week.
  • Testing Update:
    • All tests, except the acoustic tests, have been completed.
    • Vibration test was successfully conducted, marking progress in the mission's preparation.
  • Enormous Data Volume:
    • NISAR is designed as a low earth orbit (LEO) observatory with a unique feature of generating an enormous volume of reliable, high-resolution data over a three-year mission life.
    • The data will be valuable for scientific research, monitoring applications, forest management, agriculture monitoring, and disaster monitoring.
  • Open Science and Data Policy:
    • NISAR adopts an open science and open data policy, making it distinct in its scope.
    • Processed and validated data will be made open to the public on data servers in both India and the U.S., enhancing accessibility.
  • Observation Capabilities:
    • NISAR employs synthetic aperture radar to scan Earth's land and ice-covered regions twice every 12 days in ascending and descending passes.
    • Capable of penetrating cloud cover and operating day and night, NISAR is expected to revolutionize earth-observing capabilities.
  • Mission Objectives:
    • NISAR aims to provide spatially and temporally consistent data for understanding changes in Earth’s ecosystems, ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea level rise, groundwater, and natural hazards.
    • It will serve as a reliable data source for disaster monitoring and mitigation.

Background:

  • NISAR has been built by space agencies of the US and India under a partnership agreementsigned in 2014.
  • NISAR is expected to be launched in January 2024 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre into a near-polar orbit.
  • The satellite will operate for a minimum of three years.

About NISAR:

  • NISAR stands for NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar.
  • It is an Earth observation satellite.
  • The 2,800 kilograms satellite consists of both L-band and S-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) instruments, which makes it a dual-frequency imaging radar satellite.
  • NASA has provided the L-band radar, GPS, a high-capacity solid-state recorderto store data, and a payload data subsystem.
  • And the ISRO has provided the S-band radar, the GSLV launch systemand spacecraft.
  • Another important component of the satellite is its large 39-foot stationary antenna reflector
  • It is made of a gold-plated wire mesh, the reflector will be used to focus the radar signals emitted and received by the upward-facing feed on the instrument structure.

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