ISRO, NASA To Collaborate On Space-based Sensors, Radar Systems


India’s space agency, ISRO, and NASA of the US are working on the development of advanced space-based sensors and radar systems that can help sharpen earth observation applications in the future, according to Tapan Misra, Director of the Ahmedabad-based Satellite Application Centre (SAC).

One of the focus areas of the joint venture called NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) is making sensors in the L&S band. These can help in observations such as deformations in the land surface, details of the coastline and depths of the ocean, to aiding in disaster response.

Misra made these observations while delivering a lecture organised by the Aeronautical Society of India (ASI) and the Sensors Research Society of India here on Friday.

The NISAR project agreement signed between the two agencies aims to launch an earth monitoring satellite by 2021.

The SAC will take the lead in the development of C-band radar imaging as well as in microwave and optical sensors, which have a big role to play in the future. The Indian Space Research Organisation is planning missions to gear itself to meet the growing demands for observational studies with multiple applications.

“In the quest to connect the benefit of space-based observations to the advantage of the common man, SAC has conceived and launched a spectrum of optical and microwave payloads. In the last two decades, the optical observation capability has improved from 35 m to 60 cm. Sensor technology has changed from electrical transducers to integrated chips & is visible to microwaves,” he said.

At present there are 13 operational Earth Observation (EO) satellites. SAC has built specific air-borne electro-optical sensors to meet the exclusive requirements of high resolution and hyper-spectral imaging from an aerial platform as well, Misra added.

In his address at the technical meet , G Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, said there is lot of excitement in sensor technology. The world is moving towards wearable and miniaturised wireless sensors. In India also there is need for focused work on design and development of futuristic sensors with applications in the aerospace and defence sectors.

Futuristic defence and aerospace systems and sub-systems will need cutting edge sensor technologies and we need to meet the huge requirements and also should produce the same in numbers to export them in a big way, Reddy, who is the Chairman of the ASI, said.

The former Secretary, Defence, R&D and President, Sensor Research Society, Avinash Chander said, “Sensor technology is changing fast with the emergence of embedded monitoring, miniaturised nano sensors, built-in intelligence and IoT connectivity. We expect a revolution in the medical field, space, defence and environment management”.

About 500 scientists, engineers, industrialists and professionals from the aerospace and defence sector took part.

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