The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, a collaborative effort between NASA and ISRO, is slated for a launch in early 2024. This innovative satellite aims to provide detailed insights into forests and wetlands, which play a crucial role in naturally regulating greenhouse gases and combating global climate change.
With a mission duration of three years, NISAR will globally monitor Earth’s land and ice-covered surfaces. It will conduct scans of all land and ice surfaces twice every 12 days, gathering crucial data. The radar instrument on board NISAR is the first of its kind in space and will map Earth’s surface in extraordinary detail, measuring changes as small as a centimeter.
NISAR will serve as a critical tool for understanding various aspects such as ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, natural hazards, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, sea level rise, and groundwater changes. Additionally, it will enable researchers to study deforestation and glacier melt, providing significant knowledge about climate change.
The NISAR satellite is currently undergoing rigorous performance evaluations and environmental tests to ensure its readiness for launch and operational requirements. Once these tests are completed, it will be transported to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and deployed into low Earth orbit using ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-II rocket.
Once operational, NISAR will contribute to understanding the impact of changes in Earth’s forest and wetland ecosystems on the global carbon cycle. This mission holds great promise for advancing our knowledge of climate change and its effects on our planet.