Joint Project between NASA and ISRO

ISRO and NASA are working towards realisation of NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission by 2021.

In NISAR mission, NASA is responsible for development of L-band SAR and ISRO is responsible for development of S-band SAR. The L & S band SAR will be integrated with ISRO’s spacecraft and launched on-board India’s GSLV. The total cost of the project includes ISRO’s work share cost of about Rs. 788.00 Cr and the cost of JPL’s work share of about USD 808 million.
After the launch in 2021, the plan of action includes (i) calibration of instruments & validation of data products; (ii) development of science acquisition plan; (iii) development of data processing procedures & applications; and (iv) conduct of outreach activities in research institutes & academia.

ISRO and NASA have a framework agreement for cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes signed in 2008. Under this framework agreement, ISRO and NASA have executed an implementing arrangement for cooperation in NISAR mission, which is valid until 2034 and provides scope for joint activities on science & applications of NISAR data after the launch.

About NISAR:

The Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is a joint project between NASA and ISRO to co-develop and launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar satellite.

The satellite will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequency and it is planned to be used for remote sensing to observe and understand natural processes of the Earth.

NISAR would provide information about a place more frequently than older satellites orbiting the Earth at present. Among the objectives of NISAR are estimation of soil moisture, agriculture and forest biomass.

It is also designed to observe and take measurements of some of the planet’s most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

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