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NISAR Satellite to monitor tectonic movements with precision

Why is it in the news?

  • According to Somanath, the Chairman of ISRO, the NISAR satellite will provide accurate monitoring of tectonic movements and conduct comprehensive mapping of the Earth twice a month.

More about the news

  • NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) is an Earth-observation satellite jointly developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation since 2014.
  • The satellite will be deployed in a polar Sun-synchronous dawn-dusk orbit.
  • It is the first satellite mission to utilize radar data in two microwave bandwidth regions known as the L-band and the S-band.
  • The S-band payload is developed by ISRO, while the L-band payload is developed by the United States.

Monitoring the Earth’s Surface

  • The NISAR system consists of a fully polarimetric radar operating at dual frequencies, with a wide imaging swath spanning over 150 miles (240 km).
  • This design enables complete global coverage every 12 days, facilitating the creation of time-series interferometric imagery and systematic monitoring of Earth’s evolving surface.
  • It offers high-resolution monitoring capabilities for various aspects.
  • Following a 90-day commissioning period, the mission will conduct a minimum of three full years of science operations using the L-band radar to meet NASA’s requirements.
  • ISRO aims to operate the S-band radar for five years.

Mission Objectives

  • NISAR possesses the capability to accurately measure tectonic plate movements, enabling valuable insights into geological, agricultural, and water-related observations.
  • The satellite can precisely study water stress, climate change impacts, agricultural changes (including patterns, yield, and desertification), and continental movements within the context of the annual water cycle.
  • By providing data for better resource management and hazard mitigation globally, NISAR facilitates a deeper understanding of climate change effects and its pace for the scientific community.

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