The jet propulsion laboratory of US space agency NASA on Wednesday announced that it would launch a water resources-related satellite in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
The Indian space agency's Space Application Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad is playing a key role in the joint Indo-US scientific mission by helping NASA develop the crucial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The mission is part of JPL-NASA's plan to launch in the next seven years a series of satellites to study water and drought on earth.
The scientific instrument will not only be mounted as payload on a special satellite, but the SAR is likely to be launched from India in 2019-20.
Sources in ISRO told PTI that the instrument will employ the advanced sweep-SAR technology which will scan large swathes of land over earth's surface.
There are two spectral band imaging instruments that will be mounted on the SAR mission- the 'S band' and the 'L band'. The 'S' band segment will be developed by SAC.
''The data obtained from the SAR would be useful in various scientific earth studies, like monitoring earth surface deformation, agricultural productivity, biomass studies and soil as well glacial studies. We are developing the 'S' Band segment in this mission. Today the entire global community is moving towards collaborative studies to maximize their resources and contribute towards understanding and protecting our home planet," said SAC director A S Kiran Kumar.
Apart from SAR, NASA also plans to launch four additional water-related satellites in the next seven years: The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2); Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) Follow-on; Surface Water Ocean Topography mission.
These missions will help improve short-term weather forecasts and long-term climate change projections, and advance the ability to monitor droughts and predict floods and mitigate their related impacts on people's lives, says a press release by the JPL.