NISAR Satellite |

NISAR Satellite


∙ Indo-US satellite- NISAR is to study Earth’s cryospheric changes which will help in natural resource, hazard management

About the NISAR

∙ NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) represents a first-of-its-kind collaboration between NASA  and  ISRO  for  an Earth-observing mission.

∙ The radar satellite is set to launch in 2024

∙ The goal of NISAR is to make global measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging.

∙ Collaboration: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will lead the US component and provide the mission’s L-band SAR.

∙ ISRO’s UR Rao Satellite Centre and Space Applications Centre will contribute the spacecraft bus, launch vehicle and S-band SAR electronics.

∙ It will employ two radar systems, an L-band and an S-band, to penetrate clouds and darkness, offering comprehensive data even during polar winter nights.

∙ NISAR will cover nearly all of the planet’s land and ice surfaces every 12 days.

Applications of NISAR

∙ Snow studies: The L-band radar is particularly adept at penetrating snow, offering insights into the movement of ice beneath, while the S-band radar focuses on snow moisture, indicating areas of melting.

∙ Glaciers: Beyond polar ice, NISAR will track changes in mountain glaciers, which have significantly contributed to sea level rise since the 1960s.

∙ Wetlands: This mission is distinguished by its ability to track a variety of Earth’s vital signs, ranging from the health of wetlands to the impacts of deforestation and natural hazards.

∙ Geophysical dynamics: The measurements will also enable scientists to closely study what happens where ice and ocean meet.

∙ For example, when parts of an ice sheet sit on ground that is below sea level, saltwater can seep under the ice and increase melting and instability.

∙ Southern ocean: The mission’s extensive coverage of the Southern Ocean is unprecedented and will offer new insights into these crucial areas.


∙ This initiative comes at a crucial time, as recent satellite imagery from East Antarctica has shown significant glacial collapse, highlighting the urgent need for detailed monitoring.

∙ The mission will also provide a ‘time-lapse movie’ of ice sheets, offering a consistent view of their motion, thus aiding in predictions of future changes. This is important to understand and predict the dynamics of ice sheets.∙ The satellite’s all-weather capability is particularly beneficial for monitoring regions like the Himalayas, where cloud cover can hinder data collection

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