India-US to jointly launch satellite to study earthquakes

Tuesday, Apr 5, 2016,10:37 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | In a first, space agencies of India and the US will collaborate to launch a satellite that will help study earthquake and its patterns. The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or NISAR, satellite is designed to observe and take measurements of some of the planet’s most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

The two countries are also collaborating in a major way in the Mars Mission project. NASA Administrator Charles Frank Bolden said they are looking to launch the satellite by 2020-21, but India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) A S Kiran Kumar said they are looking to prepone the launch. The US is providing L-Band.

It will help us look at crustal deformation. We are looking for hints at earthquake detection. We cannot predict earthquake but we can advise people where it has occurred. We are hoping to launch it by 2020-21, Bolden told reporters here. Heads and representatives of several space agencies have assembled in the national capital to discuss applications of remote sensing technologies for disaster mitigation and bettering global climate change monitoring.

Kumar said that for India, the project will not only help in understanding the seismic activity but also give inputs for monitoring agricultural activities. The activity involves building a payload with L- and S- bands synthetic aperture radar. It’s a new technology instrument.

While NASA provides the L-Band component of the electronics plus the antenna, which is a huge one. ISRO will provide the S-Band and the payload will be integrated at NASA and then the payload comes back at Bangalore. It gets integrated on the satellite, which is being built and will be launched by ISRO. So, currently the activities are going on in full swing.

Both the governments have cleared the basic mission. We are looking at a possible launch with 2021. We are trying to advance the launch and we are working towards it. As far as we are concerned the usage of this got many significant usage for our programme, Kumar said.

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