Indo-US NISAR space mission moves ahead

The Indo-US collaborative NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Mission moved ahead with the Indian space agency sending the S-Band SAR payload.

The payload SAR that can send good clarity pictures of the earth was flagged off by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K.Sivan on March 4 through virtual mode, said ISRO.

The S-Band SAR was shipped from Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad to Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena for integration with L-Bank SAR payload of JPL, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

Coconuts were broken before the truck loaded with SAR moved out of the Space Applications Centre.

According to Indian space agency, NISAR is a joint collaboration between ISRO and NASA for a dual-frequency L and S-Band SAR for earth observation.

NISAR would provide a means of disentangling highly spatial and temporally complex processes ranging from ecosystem disturbances to ice sheet collapses and natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

On Sept. 30, 2014, NASA and ISRO signed a partnership to collaborate on and launch NISAR.

The NISAR will be put into orbit in 2022 by Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

The US space agency NASA is providing the mission’s L-band synthetic aperture radar, a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid-state recorder and payload data subsystem.

ISRO is providing the spacecraft bus, the S-band radar, the launch vehicle and associated launch services, NASA said.

ISRO identified science and applications that were complementary to the primary mission objectives: agricultural monitoring and characterization, landslide studies, Himalayan glacier studies, soil moisture, coastal processes, coastal winds, and monitoring hazards.

A second radar frequency was added to the mission to better fulfill these science requirements.

NASA said NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different radar frequencies (L-band and S-band) to measure changes in our planet’s surface less than a centimeter across. The partnership with India has been key to preserving as much science as possible.

NASA said it requires a minimum of three years of global science operations with the L-band radar, and ISRO requires five years of operations with the S-band radar over specified target areas in India and the Southern Ocean.

All NISAR science data, L-band and S-band, will be freely available and open to the public, consistent with the long-standing NASA Earth Science open data policy. The US space agency has chosen the Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) to host the mission’s data and products, NASA said.