NISAR Mission

NISAR

The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or NISAR, Mission would make global integrated measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes. NISAR would provide a means of disentangling highly spatial and temporally complex processes ranging from ecosystem disturbances, to ice sheet collapse and natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and landslides.

NISAR’s unprecedented coverage in space and time would reveal forces acting within the Earth and on its surface, biomass variability, and response of ice masses far more comprehensively than any other measurement method. The detailed observations would reveal information about the evolution and state of the Earth’s crust.

For the first time a novel SAR concept, called SweepSAR will be utilized to image wide swath at high resolution of stripmap SAR. NISAR would provide a means of disentangling highly spatial and temporally complex processes ranging from ecosystem disturbances, to ice sheet collapse and natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and landslides.

The primary science objectives of NISAR are to monitor changes in vegetation structure and wetlands for understanding ecosystem dynamics and carbon cycle; measure land surface deformation due to earthquakes, volcanic activity, land subsidence/uplift and landslides; understand cryosphere dynamics and determine spatio-temporal changes in Himalayan Glaciers and their response to regional climate change; understand temporal behavior of coastal and oceanic processes; and support global disaster response. In addition, the mission is expected to support a host of additional science objectives and end-user applications.

Major Mission and Instrument Characteristics of NISAR


S-band
L-band
Orbit
747 km with 98° inclination
Repeat Cycle
12 days
Time of Nodal Crossing
6 AM / 6 PM
Frequency
3.2 GHz ± 37.5 MHz
1.257 GHz ± 40 MHz
Available Polarimetric Modes
Single Pol (SP): HH or VV
Dual Pol (DP): HH/HV or VV/VH
Compact Pol (CP): RH/RV
Quasi-Quad Pol (QQP): HH/HV and VH/VV
SP: HH or VV
DP: HH/HV or VV/VH
CP: RH/RV
Quad Pol (QP): HH/HV/VH/VV
Available Range Bandwidths
10 MHz, 25 MHz, 37.5 MHz, 75 MHz
5 MHz, 20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz
(Additional 5 MHz iono band for 20 & 40
MHz modes at other end of pass-band)
Swath Width
> 240 Km
>240 Km
Spatial Resolution
6.4m (Az); 2m-6m (Sl-Ra)
6.9m (Az); 1.9m-30m (Sl-Ra)
Incidence Angle Range
33 - 47 deg
33 - 47 deg
Noise Equivalent σ° -20 dB swath average (baseline)
-17 dB(Threshold)
-20 dB swath average
Ambiguities
< -20dB for all modes except QQP
< -23dB swath average in SP or DP modes
< -17dB swath average in QP mode
Data and Product Access
Free & Open