NISAR mission: NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar mission
NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission was in news recently as its first Joint Steering Group (JSG) meeting was held on 21 July 2015.
NISAR is a dedicated US and Indian InSAR mission, in partnership with ISRO, optimized for studying hazards and global environmental change.
As part of it NISAR satellite, which will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequency, is expected to be launched during the year 2021. The satellite will also be used for remote sensing to observe and understand natural processes of the Earth.
The aim and objectives of NISAR mission are:
• Design, Develop and launch a Dual frequency (L Band (24-centimeter wavelength Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar) and S Band (12-centimeter wavelength Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture) Radar Imaging Satellite.
• Explore newer application areas using L and S band microwave data, especially in natural resources mapping & monitoring; estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle; assessing soil moisture; monitoring of floods and oil slicks; coastal erosion, coastline changes and variation of winds in coastal waters; assessment of mangroves; surface deformation studies due to seismic activities etc.
In this joint mission, JPL/NASA will be responsible for design & development of L-band SAR, 12m unfurlable antenna, GPS system and data recorder.
On the other hand, ISRO will be responsible for design & development of S-band SAR, Spacecraft Bus, data transmission system, Spacecraft integration & testing, launch using GSLV and on-orbit operations.
The cost of the project would be shared between the two space agencies. Cost of ISRO’s work share is estimated at 788.00 crore rupees whereas cost of JPL’s work share is expected to be around 808 million US dollars.
Implementation Arrangement (IA), defining the roles and responsibilities of ISRO and was signed by the two agencies in September 2014. ISRO has completed the Baseline Design Reviews of Spacecraft and S-band SAR payload. JPL has successfully completed the Mission Concept and Key Decision Point reviews.
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When: 21 July 2015