NASA and ISRO are planning a joint space mission to map the Earth every 12 days

NASA and ISRO are planning a joint space mission to map the Earth every 12 days

The NASA-ISRO synthetic aperture radar is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2024 after some tests, especially those related to vibrations, NASA officials said.

“ISRO expects it to be the first quarter of next year. So, I mean, this is ready,” Phil Parrella, NASA’s NISAR project manager, said during a media interaction here on Wednesday.

NISAR (spelled as “Naisar”) is expected to launch “no later than January” from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota aboard the ISRO Mark-II geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle.

The mission, which will last for three years, aims to survey all Earth’s land and ice-covered surfaces every 12 days. This will begin after a 90-day satellite operational period.

Regarding the main tests that are waiting to be carried out, Barella said: “Vibration testing is currently underway, but there is a wide range of performance tests that we need to do.”

Battery and simulation tests should be done to ensure the system is working well, he said.

“…We will be performing performance testing on the radars and different electronics of the spacecraft,” Parella said. “So, there is still a lot of testing, but the large environments testing, the only one left now, is vibration.”

Dr. Lori Lishin, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said the NISAR project is “better than anything that has been launched in the past.”

“Although there are data sets from previous missions that can form a kind of baseline, this is a new level of capability that we will have with NISAR,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

“If things go very well, we will certainly extend this mission to get this longer baseline,” Leshin said. “It’s a very important thing to see the Earth changing on multi-year timescales. That’s what we’re looking for.”

According to ISRO, NISAR is a low-Earth orbit observatory jointly developed by NASA.

NISAR will map the entire Earth in 12 days and provide spatially and temporally consistent data to understand changes in Earth’s ecosystems, ice mass, plant biomass, sea level rise, groundwater and natural hazards, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

The project aims to understand the dynamics of carbon storage and assimilation in wooded and agricultural ecosystems, wetlands and permafrost, the response of ice sheets to climate change, the interaction of sea ice and climate, and sea level impacts, NASA said in a bulletin. Rising all over the world.

NISAR will have a synthetic aperture radar instrument, L-band SAR, S-band SAR, and an antenna reflector.

According to NASA, instruments on board can see a change as small as a centimeter from space.

The SUV-sized satellite has a mass of about 2,800 kilograms and will be powered by two solar arrays providing about four kilowatts of power.

The six-foot-long “spacecraft bus” will house the command and communications systems for the instrument payload, which includes two SAR instruments.

“The bus will also support a radar antenna reflector and arm. There is enough fuel on board to support operations for at least five years,” the bulletin said.

(tags for translation) PTI

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