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“NISAR Satellite” for Observing Earth’s Surface

What is the News?

NASA and ISRO are collaborating on developing the NISAR Satellite.

About NISAR Satellite:
  1. NISAR is a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  2. This satellite will be able to detect the earth’s surface movement as small as 0.4 inches over an area.
  3. It will be a three-year mission. It will scan the globe including Earth’s land, ice sheets, and sea ice, every 12 days during its mission.
  4. Full-Form: The name NISAR is short for NASA-ISRO-SAR. SAR here refers to the Synthetic Aperture Radar.
    • SAR refers to a technique for producing high-resolution images. Because of the precision, the radar can penetrate clouds and darkness. It means, it can collect data day and night in any weather.
  5. Launched Year: The satellite will get launched in 2022 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India into a near-polar orbit.

Objectives of the Mission: The primary goals of the mission includes:

  • Tracking subtle changes in the Earth’s surface
  • Spotting warning signs of imminent volcanic eruptions
  • Helping to monitor groundwater supplies and
  • Tracking the rate at which ice sheets are melting.
Contributions from NASA and ISRO:

The partnership agreement for this mission was signed in 2014. According to the agreement:

  • NASA will provide one of the radars for the satellite, a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers and a payload data subsystem.
  • On the other hand, ISRO will provide the spacecraft bus, the second type of radar (called the S-band radar), the launch vehicle and associated launch services.
Significance of this mission:
  • The images from the satellite will allow scientists to track changes in croplands, hazard sites. It will also help to monitor crises such as volcanic eruptions.
  • The images will also be able to capture changes in the Earth caused by certain activities. For instance, drawing drinking water from an underground aquifer can leave signs on the surface. If too much of it is drawn out, the ground begins to sink which is what scientists believe the images will be able to show them.

Source: Indian Express

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