What is NISAR Mission?

NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) Mission is a collaborative project between NASA and ISRO aimed at building and launching an Earth observation satellite equipped with a dual-frequency synthetic aperture radar. Notably, the satellite carries the most advanced radar system ever to be launched in a NASA Mission. It also has the largest radar antenna of its type. The satellite will be the first of its kind and will be used to remotely sense natural phenomena on Earth, such as the Antarctic cryosphere. NISAR is expected to be the most expensive Earth-imaging satellite, with a total cost of around 1.5 billion USD.

What is the objective of the NISAR Mission?

The mission will map the elevations on the earth’s surface. It will mainly focus on the ice masses. The mapping is to be done four to six times a month. The resolution of the mapping is to be in the range of 5m to 10m. With this, the mission will provide details about ice sheet collapses, landslides, etc.

Operators and Manufacturers of NISAR Mission

The manufacturer is ISRO and Operator is NASA. The mission duration is 3 years. It will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center by ISRO. The mission uses the principle of radar imaging. The Imaging radars used in the NISAR mission are mesh type and are huge. Please note the size of the mesh radar in the image.

What is the radar imaging used in NISAR Mission?

Radar imaging works just like a flash camera. It creates its own light. Based on the reflection from the object, it creates an image of the object. The flash camera sends out light. Radars will send out radio waves.

What is L-band SAR in NISAR Mission?

There are two radars in the satellite. They are the L-band SAR and the S-band SAR. The L-band SAR is to be produced by NASA. And the S-band SAR will be produced by ISRO.

The L-band SAR will create 2-dimensional images based on the motion of the radar antenna. For this reason, the images are of better resolution.

Why is NISAR Mission in News?

The US Air Force recently handed over the NISAR satellite to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The satellite is expected to be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh in 2024.




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