nasa: Payload integration of NASA-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar mission completed in US – Times of India


BENGALURU: The payload integration of the NASA-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar mission (NISAR) has been completed in the US and the same is expected to be shipped to India later this year for integration with the satellite and eventually the launch vehicle, senior NASA officials said here on Wednesday.
A dual synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mission, NISAR is a first-of-its-kind endeavour that will be able to operate in two frequencies, both in bands lower than KU-Band or AA-Band. While Isro will develop and provide the S-band radar, expected to have a 12-cm wavelength, Nasa will supply the 24-cm wavelength L-band radar. Isro will also provide the launch vehicle.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator, NASA science mission directorate on future Space exploration, terming it an extremely complex mission, said progress had been made on NISAR after Covid-induced delays.
“We’ve already met Isro scientific secretary and will be meeting the chairman later today (Wednesday) for discussions,” Zurbuchen said at a public event at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). The main purpose of the NASA team’s visit is to deliberate on NISAR.
This dedicated US and Indian SAR mission will be optimised for studying hazards and global environmental change and is the biggest cooperation between Isro and NASA.
Karen M St. Germain, earth science division director, NASA, while reiterating the complexities of the mission and its scope, said: “This will be a mission with several unique capabilities and boasts of several firsts. The payload integration is complete at JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) and we are going into testing. First, the launch integration tests and then the functional tests, after which the whole thing will be shifted back to India for integration with the satellite and for integration with the launch vehicle.”
She added that NASA and Isro jointly built an air-borne test bed for testing the radars. “…The science this mission will facilitate is extraordinary. And, to facilitate this, we jointly built this testbed.”
As per NASA, NISAR will measure Earth’s changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces, and ice masses providing information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise, and groundwater, and will support a host of other applications. It will observe land and ice-covered surfaces globally with 12-day regularity on ascending and descending passes, sampling Earth on average every six days for a baseline three-year mission.





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