Composite of Brazil's 'Arc of Deforestation' Shows Imagery NISAR Will Produce
To show the kind of imagery that data from the NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite mission will produce, researchers pointed to this composite image of a portion of the so-called "arc of deforestation," a region on the southeast edge of the Amazonian jungle in Brazil where forests are being cleared at a fast pace through human activity. This three-color image shows change to the land cover in the Xingu River basin between 1996 (red) and 2007 (blue/green), using data from the Japanese L-band SAR satellites JERS-1 and ALOS-1, respectively. Black indicates areas converted from rainforest to agricultural land prior to 1996, and red shows the additional areas that had been cleared by 2007.
NISAR will offer detailed insights into how the planet's forest ecosystems are changing over time, which will help researchers understand regional and global dynamics of deforestation and study the role of wooded areas in the global carbon cycle. NISAR could also help improve accounting of forest loss and growth, as countries that rely on logging try to shift toward more sustainable practices.
NISAR is a joint mission of the U.S. and Indian space agencies. When in orbit, its sophisticated L- and S-band radar systems will scan nearly all of Earth's land and ice surfaces twice every 12 days with exquisite precision.
Scheduled to launch in early 2024, NISAR is an equal collaboration between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation and marks the first time the two agencies have cooperated on hardware development for an Earth-observing mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed for the agency by Caltech in Pasadena, leads the U.S. component of the project and is providing the mission's L-band SAR. NASA is also providing the radar reflector antenna, the deployable boom, a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid-state recorder, and payload data subsystem. ISRO's U R Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, which is leading the ISRO component of the mission, is providing the spacecraft bus, the S-band SAR electronics, the launch vehicle, and associated launch services and satellite mission operations.