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US Air Force plane arrives in Bengaluru with NASA-ISRO satellite

A transport aircraft from the US air force carrying a NASA - ISRO satellite landed in Bengaluru Wednesday.

A transport plane of the US Air Force carrying a NASA – ISRO satellite arrived in Bengaluru Wednesday, marking a major milestone in the growing India-US civil-space collaboration.

“Touchdown in Bengaluru! @ISRO receives NISAR (@NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) on a @USAirforce C-17 from@NASAJPL in California, setting the stage for final integration of the Earth observation satellite, a true symbol of #USIndia civil space collaboration,” tweeted US Consulate General Chennai.

NISAR, an Earth-observation satellite, is being jointly developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The satellite will be deployed for a joint mission to measure changes in the Earth’s crust and land ice surfaces.

ISRO will use the satellite to monitor glaciers in the Himalayas and landslide-prone areas.

The NISAR satellite will measure changes in the Earth’s ecosystems, helping researchers understand the consequences of land-surface changes, and will also spot warning signs of natural disasters like earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, sea level rise, etc.

The SUV-sized satellite weighs around 2,800 Kg and consists of both L and S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instruments.

The NISAR satellite can penetrate through clouds and can produce high-resolution images even in bad weather.

The L-band SAR operates at a wavelength of 24 cm, allowing greater penetration into forests for more interaction between the radar signal and large branches and tree trunks, according to NASA.

The S-band SAR operates at a shorter wavelength of 12 cm and can see through objects like clouds and the leaves of a forest canopy that obstruct other instruments.