In a major step towards building US-India ties in civil-space cooperation, a US Air Force transport aircraft carrying a NASA – ISRO satellite landed in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
The C-17 transport aircraft airlifted from California with the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture (NISAR) satellite on a joint mission to measure changes in the Earth’s crust and land ice surface.
Touchdown in Bengaluru! @ISRO Nisar accepts (@NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) at @USAirforce From C-17 @NASAJPL In California, it set the stage for the final integration of Earth observation satellites, a true symbol #USIndia Civil Space Cooperation. #USIndiaTogetherpic.twitter.com/l0a5pa1uxV
— US Consulate General Chennai (@USAndChennai) March 8, 2023
The NISAR satellite will measure changes in Earth’s ecosystems, help researchers understand the consequences of land-surface changes, and also identify warning signs of natural disasters such as earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, sea-level rise, etc.
India’s space agency ISRO will use the satellite to monitor glaciers in the Himalayas and landslide-prone areas.
The SUV-sized satellite weighs about 2,800 Kg and carries both L- and S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instruments.
NISAR satellites can penetrate through clouds and produce high-resolution images regardless of weather conditions.
According to NASA, L-band SAR operates at a wavelength of 24 cm, which allows for greater penetration into the forest for radar signals and more interaction between large branches and tree trunks.
S-band SAR operates at a shorter wavelength of 12 cm and can see through objects such as clouds and forest canopy leaves that block a variety of instruments.
The satellite is likely to be launched into a near-polar orbit in 2024 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Andhra Pradesh.
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