ISRO, NASA comes together to monitor environmental changes
Source :News Bharati English   Date :30-Mar-2017

New Delhi, March 30: ISRO is swinging on the success ride so high that it doesn’t seem to stop anytime soon. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and ISRO have come together to work on the development of Dual Frequency (L & S band) Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR).
The L-band SAR is being developed by JPL/NASA, while ISRO is developing S-band SAR. The L & S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for variety of applications and not just building climate’s plasticity.

NISAR will be helpful in scrutinizing and monitoring many areas of environmental concerns. Some of which are natural resources mapping & monitoring; estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle; assessing soil moisture; monitoring of floods and oil slicks; coastal erosion, coastline changes & variation of winds in coastal waters; assessment of mangroves; surface deformation studies, ice sheet collapses & dynamics etc. 

The date acquired from NISAR will also help- (i) identifying crevasses in the glaciers hidden by fresh snow, where human movement takes place, (ii) identifying the snowpack parameters as an input in Avalanche forecasts, (iii) studying Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) hazards, (iv) identifying inundated area due to floods/ cyclones. These applications could help in taking measures to minimize loss of human lives. 

On the other hand, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has been working with National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop high resolution seasonal and long-term climate forecasts. 

During 2010 to 2015, IITM and NOAA together developed high resolution Models for seasonal climate predictions of Indian Summer Monsoon and long term climate forecasts under a Memorandum of Understanding. Extension of this MoU till 2020 to further pursue such studies is under consideration.