ISRO-NASA: Develops Radar for Joint Earth Observation Satellite Mission

The Indian space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in collaboration with the US space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has completed the development of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) which has the capability of producing extremely high-resolution images for joint earth observation satellite mission.

About NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR)

It is a joint collaboration for the dual-frequency L-Band and S-Band SAR for the earth observation. NISAR is the first satellite mission which will use two different radar frequencies called L-band and S-band. These radar frequencies will be used to measure the changes in Earth’s surface less than a centimetre across. This mission will be launched in the year 2022 from the Sriharikota spaceport of ISRO in Andhra Pradesh. The payload was shipped from the Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre (SAC) to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA.

ISRO-NASA Collaboration

NASA is providing the L-band SAR for the mission. SAR is a sophisticated information-processing technique that is used to produce high-resolution images. It is a high-rate communication subsystem for the GPS receivers, science data, payload data subsystem and a solid-state recorder. On the other hand, ISRO is providing the S-band radar, spacecraft bus, launch vehicle and other launch services associated with the mission. ISRO is aimed at making global measurements of the causes & consequences of the land surface change with the help of radar imaging. S-band SAR payload was flagged off by Secretary of the Department of Space & ISRO Chairman, K Sivan on March 4, 2021.

Background

The space agencies, NASA and ISRO has inked a deal to develop and launch the NISAR satellite on September 30, 2014.

Application of NISAR

NISAR mission will provide a means of highly spatial and temporally complex processes such as ecosystem disturbances, ice sheet collapses and natural hazards like volcanoes, landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis. It will also measure the changing ecosystems of Earth, dynamic surfaces & ice masses. The mission will also provide information regarding the biomass, natural hazards, groundwater and sea level rise.

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