US space agency NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have collaborated to build a satellite named NISAR, reports have said. The coming together of the two space agency will enable scientists to study and monitor the Earth like never before. While NASA is known to be a pioneer in space programmes, ISRO too has achieved some ground-breaking feat in the field.
The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite is likely to cost more than USD 1.5 billion and both US and India will bear the cost for the same. This could also be the world’s most expensive Earth imaging satellite. The scientists of both the space agencies are working hard to make the satellite a reality.
"NISAR is the first big collaboration between NASA and ISRO, certainly on RADAR but just in general as well. This is two frequency RADAR, it is an L-band 24 centimetre RADAR and S-band 13 centimetre. S-band is being built by ISRO and L-band by NASA. It is a major collaboration both in terms of the technical building of the satellite as well as working together across the Pacific between India and US," said Paul A Rosen, a scientist working on the NISAR satellite project, according to a report.
The NISAR satellite will be launched in 2021 from India aboard the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), said the report.
Rosen also said, "We are going to be making snap shots of the Earth every week using these two radars that gives us a time lapse image of the motion of the tectonic plates, of the ice sheets, of the changes in vegetation over land in agriculture and forests.”
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“So what we are doing is looking at time variability of the Earth over the life of the mission to understand how disasters evolve, how earthquakes occur, how volcanoes occur, how the ice sheets are changing and affecting sea level rise, and how forest fires and changes in the forest cover affect the atmosphere. It is very relevant to what society cares about which is changes in our climate, changes in our environment and how it affects society.”