The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are jointly working on the development of a Dual Frequency (L&S band) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR). The project is slated to be completed and launched by 2021, parliament was told on Thursday.
ISRO will be responsible for design and development of S-band SAR, Spacecraft Bus, data transmission system, spacecraft integration and testing. The radar will be launched using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and ISRO will also be reponsible for the in-orbit operations, Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh, who also holds charge of the Space Department, told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
The NASA laboratory will be responsible for design and development of L-band SAR, 12m unfurlable antenna and its deployment elements, global positioning system (GPS) and data recorder.
The L and S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for variety of applications, which include 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 and others.
ISRO, JPL/NASA are working towards realisation of this mission by 2021 and both agencies have obtained necessary approvals from respective governments, he said.
The joint science observation plan has been documented with the participation of Indian and American scientists. The core science teams of India and US meet every six months to discuss various observation requirements and strategies of science observation. The technical teams of both the agencies are working towards building the necessary systems, Singh said.