The NISAR satellite is set to launch in 2024 and will deepen our understanding of climate change, deforestation, glacier melt, volcanoes, earthquakes, and more.

Short for NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, the satellite has been jointly developed by the USA and India’s space agencies respectively.

The two major components of the NISAR satellite are being combined in Bengaluru, India.

NISAR will monitor every part of our planet at least once every 12 days, which will help scientists understand the dynamics of forests, wetlands, and agricultural lands.

“A crane is used to align NISAR’s radar instrument payload, seen partially wrapped in gold-coloured thermal blanketing, with the satellite’s spacecraft bus, which is inside blue  blanketing, in an ISRO clean room in Bengaluru, India, in June,” the official release said.

The satellite’s cylindrical radar instrument payload contains two radar systems. The S-band radar is useful for monitoring crop structure and the roughness of land and ice surfaces,

The L-band instrument will penetrate denser forest canopies to study the woody trunks of trees, among other observables.

“The NISAR satellite is currently undergoing performance testing, to be followed by several rounds of environmental testing to ensure it can withstand the rigors of launch and meet all of its operational requirements once in orbit,” says the official notification.

After the testing, it will be shipped to Satish Dhawan Space Centre, where it will be inserted into its launch fairing, mounted atop ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-II rocket, and sent into low Earth orbit.

Title image credit: VDOS-URSC