NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar

IAS Prelims 2023

ISRO and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/ NASA are jointly working on the development of Dual Frequency (L&S band) Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR).

The L-band SAR is being developed by JPL/NASA, while ISRO is developing S-band SAR.

The L & S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for variety of applications, which include natural resources mapping & monitoring; estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle; assessing soil moisture; monitoring of floods and oil slicks; coastal erosion, coastline changes & variation of winds in coastal waters; assessment of mangroves; surface deformation studies, ice sheet collapses & dynamics etc.

The data obtained from NISAR mission is not meant for building climate resilience. However, the data acquired from this mission will be useful in developing certain applications, which include – (i) identifying crevasses in the glaciers hidden by fresh snow, where human movement takes place, (ii) identifying the snowpack parameters as an input in Avalanche forecasts, (iii) studying Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) hazards, and (iv) identifying inundated area due to floods/ cyclones. These applications could help in taking measures to minimise loss of human lives.

As per the information received, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has been working in tandem with National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, USA) for development of high resolution seasonal and long-term climate forecasts through Monsoon Mission and Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR) Programmes.

During 2010 to 2015, IITM and NOAA together developed high resolution models for seasonal predictions of Indian Summer Monsoon and long term climate forecasts under a MoU. This MoU, concerning the study of “Dynamical Short range, Extended Range and seasonal Prediction of Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall”, has been extended till 2020, within the framework of the MoES-NOAA Partnership.