NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar)



A joint mission between NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) to co-develop and launch a dual-frequency synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on an Earth observation satellite.

First radar imaging satellite to use two different radar frequencies (L-band and S-band) to measure changes of our planet’s surface, including movements as small as a centimeter.

Planned launch date:2024 [NASA-ISRO SAR Mission (NISAR)]

Total Cost: Estimated at US$1.5 billion, likely making it the world’s most expensive Earth-imaging satellite

Orbit: Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 747 km (464 mi) with an inclination of 98.5 degrees


Monitor and measure some of the planet’s most complex natural processes, including:

    • Ecosystem disturbances
    • Ice sheet collapse
    • Natural hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, landslides)

Provide high-resolution data (5 to 10 meters) on the elevation of Earth’s land and ice masses four to six times a month

Applications of this data include:

    • Monitoring deforestation rates
    • Tracking glacier movement
    • Measuring land subsidence
    • Mapping earthquake faults
    • Managing water resources

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