ISRO and NASA Collaboration

ISRO and NASA Collaboration 

ISRO and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/ NASA are jointly working 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 application, which include 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 data obtained from NISAR mission is not meant for building climate resilience. However, the data acquired from this mission will be useful in developing certain applications, which include - (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, and (iv) identifying inundated area due to floods/ cyclones. These applications could help in taking measures to minimise loss of human lives.

As per the information received, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has been working in tandem with National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, USA) for development of high resolution seasonal and long-term climate forecasts through Monsoon Mission and Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR) Programmes. During 2010 to 2015, IITM and NOAA together developed high resolution models for seasonal predictions of Indian Summer Monsoon and long term climate forecasts under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This MoU, concerning the study of “Dynamical Short range, Extended Range and seasonal Prediction of Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall”, has been extended till 2020, within the framework of the MoES-NOAA Partnership.

Building of PSLV 

ISRO has been pursuing a conscious approach of building up and nurturing the industrial capabilities in the country to maximally support the Indian Space Programme. In order to step up the launch capacity within the country, ISRO is in the process of involving Indian industry in a greater role to meet the increased national requirements and enable commercial launch services in order to enhance the capacity and capability of managing the PSLV programme on an end-to-end basis. This is proposed to be carried out through the formulation of a plan to empower Indian Industry including the quality assurance and safety procedures.

ISRO has been utilising the Indian industry in both the public and private sector for the development of space technology since 1976. In order to ensure the smooth supply chain of hardware, components and sub-systems to the Indian Space Programme, ISRO has been continuously engaged in technology development and hand-holding several industries within the country. This has enabled ISRO to realise the majority of the manufacturing requirements of the ISRO’s launch vehicles and satellites through industry. The industry participation has shown continuing growth both in addressing technological complexity and quantum of work.

The relevant process documents and safety documents for carrying out the various activities are in place and are being followed meticulously, which will be utilised along with training, in the event of the industry undertaking these activities.

Indigenous GPS 

India has deployed its own regional navigational system, namely NavIC comprising of a constellation of seven navigational satellites and associated ground segment for providing position, navigation and timing services to Indian region.

The IRNSS (NavIC) enables providing position, navigation and timing information that could be utilised for a large range of civil and strategic applications and services that include terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation; precise timing; disaster management and alert messages; mapping and Geodetic data capture; vehicle tracking and fleet management; visual & voice navigation for drivers, etc.

Seven satellites of NavIC constellation are currently in orbit, the realization of IRNSS-1I, by DOS/ISRO is under progress using a contract to a consortium of private companies for carrying out assembly, integration and testing of this satellite. The satellite is planned for launch during first quarter of 2018.

NavIC provides signals in a space covering India and its surroundings, this could be utilised by using receivers on ground to determine position and time accurately. Signal in space is provided globally by GPS of USA, GLONASS of Russia, Galileo of Europe and Beiden of China. Current global trend is to make use of ground receivers which utilise as many signals as available for providing timing and position solutions.

Solar Mission 

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch the first solar mission, Aditya-L1.

Aditya-L1 mission is aimed at studying the Sun from an orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point 1 (L1) which is about 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth. It would carry seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun, the corona in different wavebands.

Aditya-L1 is a fully indigenous effort with the participation of national institutions. Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru is the lead institute for the development of Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune is developing the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUIT) payload for Aditya-L1 mission.

Aditya-L1 can provide observations on the corona and in addition can provide observations on the solar Chromosphere using the UV payload and on the flares using the X-ray payloads. The particle detectors and the magnetometer payload can provide information on charged particles and the magnetic field reaching the halo orbit around L1.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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