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NASA-ISRO partnership satellite ’NISAR

Published: 10th Feb, 2023

Context

Recently, the Joint project of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), called NISAR, got a send-off ceremony at the American space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.

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.

Additional features:

  • By using synthetic aperture radar (SAR),NISAR will produce high-resolution images.
  • SAR is capable of penetrating cloudsand can collect data day and night regardless of the weather conditions.

According to NASA, “the instrument’s imaging swath — the width of the strip of data collected along the length of the orbit track — is greater than 150 miles (240 kilometres), which allows it to image the entire Earth in 12 days.

What is the mission?

  • NISAR will observe subtle changes in Earth’s surfaces, helping researchers better understand the causes and consequences of such phenomena.
  • It will spot warning signsof natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and landslides.
  • The satellite will also;
    • Measure groundwater levels,
    • Track flow rates of glaciers and ice sheets, and
    • Monitor the planet’s forestand agricultural regions, which can improve our understanding of carbon exchange.
  • ISRO will use NISAR for a variety of purposes including agricultural mapping, and monitoring of glaciers in the Himalayas, landslide-prone areas and changes in the coastline.

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