The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working along with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to co-develop and launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar satellite in the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission 2021.
The satellite will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequency and it is planned to be used for remote sensing purposes, to observe and understand natural processes of the Earth.
In the joint mission, NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be responsible for the design & development of L-band SAR, a 12m unfurlable antenna & its deployment elements, GPS system and data recorder. ISRO will be responsible for the design & development of S-band SAR, Spacecraft Bus, data transmission system, Spacecraft integration & testing, launch using GSLV and on-orbit operations.
The L & S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for a variety of applications, which include:
- Natural resources mapping & monitoring
- Estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle and assessing soil moisture
- Monitoring of floods and oil slicks, coastal erosion, coastline changes and variation of winds in coastal waters
- Assessment of mangroves and surface deformation studies
Other Key Details
• ISRO and NASA together are expecting to complete the mission by 2021.
• Both agencies have obtained necessary approvals for the mission from their respective governments.
• The joint science observation plan has been documented with the participation of both Indian and American scientists.
• The core teams of both India and US conclude every six months to discuss various observation requirements and strategies of scientific observation.
• Besides this, the technical teams of both the agencies are also working towards building the necessary systems.
Post completion, NISAR will be integrated with ISRO’s spacecraft and launched on board India’s GSLV.
The same was announced by Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Atomic Energy and Space in reply to a question during the Parliamentary session at the upper house, Rajya Sabha.
ISRO & NASA
The two space research organisations signed a framework agreement in 2008 that called for cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
Under the agreement, both ISRO and NASA have executed an implementing arrangement for cooperation in NISAR mission, which is valid until 2034.
The arrangement provides scope for joint activities on science & applications of NISAR data after the launch.
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