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ISRO and NASA will be observing the Earth through a newly developed satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has finalized its project to develop a radar satellite for capturing high-quality images of the Earth. This satellite will be utilized in a joint mission between the agency and NASA.

The two agencies agreed on the name NISRA for the satellite to denote the Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite. This mission will be the first involving a partnership between the US space agency and the Indian agency for Earth observation purposes. The S-Band SAR payload entered the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Los Angeles County from the Space Applications Centre at Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The two agencies agreed to incorporate the satellite into NASA’s L-Band SAR payload.

NISRA will become the most expensive Earth-imaging satellite globally, according to analysts. The total expenses leading to the project’s success include approximately Rs 788 crore from ISRO and $808 million from the JPL side. The satellite will be entering space next year through the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) situated at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota near Chennai. The Indian engineers have been working on this satellite for about three decades to ensure that the technology can handle the mission.

The agency was planning on utilizing the cryogenic technology, although the US disagreed with this mission forcing the Indian agency to develop the satellite with indigenous technology. Luckily, the company tested the technology four years ago, proving that India has made a breakthrough in space technology. The successful test of the technology proved that India is among the leading countries in launches. The agency stated that it is still finalizing an additional feature of the NISRA satellite before it can officially become operational.

The data retrieved by the satellite will help various industries like agricultural developers who will be monitoring the full crop cycle and ascertaining the moisture content of the soil. Other functions of the data in agriculture include predicting ice sheet erosion, assessing mangroves, and observing coastline changes. NASA stated that NISRA would be the first mission where they have packed both the L-Band and S-Band radars to observe the Earth’s surface.

The collaboration with India will help the countries involved derive scientific explanations for the phenomena happening on Earth. The advanced radar allows the satellite to gather data in all weather conditions and to keep the stations on the ground updated. Some of the missions that the satellite was to shield include landslide observation, soil moisture analysis, monitoring coastal processes, and agricultural assessments. Hopefully, NISRA will make these processes effective.

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