Radar Image of Amazonian Flooding Similar to Future NISAR Imagery
To show the kind of imagery that data from the NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite mission will be used to produce, researchers pointed to a 2013 image of flooding extent in the Pacaya-Samaria National Reserve that used data from the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR), an airborne system. In the image of this flood-prone area of the Amazonian jungle in Peru, black indicates open water, grayish-green is tropical forest, dark green is low-lying or floating vegetation, and red and pink are two different types of flooded vegetation.
NISAR will offer detailed insights into the flooding patterns of the planet's wetland ecosystems, which will help researchers understand how these areas are being affected by climate change and human activity and the role they play in the global carbon cycle. 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.