Nisar reflector going back to US for additional coating: Nasa | India News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The launch readiness date of the Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar (Nisar) satellite, an Earth-observing mission, will be determined at the end of April, Nasa has said in its latest update about the mission. A key component of the satellite is being returned to the US for additional work.
The TOI had reported last week that the launch, initially pegged to happen by the end of March, would be delayed and may not happen before the end of May as indicated by Isro chairman S Somanath in an exclusive interview.
Nasa has now said: “…Nisar is nearly complete… Work to be finished before launch includes applying a special coating to hardware components on the satellite’s 39-foot-diameter (12-metre) radar antenna reflector, which is among Nasa’s primary contributions to the mission.”
The addition of the special coating is a precautionary step to mitigate any temperature increases that could potentially affect the deployment of the reflector. “Testing and analysis identified a potential for the reflector to experience higher-than-previously-anticipated temperatures in its stowed configuration in flight,” Nasa said.
Reflector back to California
During science operations, the massive reflector will transmit and receive microwave signals to and from Earth’s surface, enabling Nisar to scan nearly all the planet’s land and ice surfaces twice every 12 days to collect science data.
“The special coating being added will limit the temperature by reflecting more solar radiation off the reflector hardware. Due to the reflector’s size and complexity, it is being shipped from the Isro site in India (UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru where the satellite is being assembled to a specialised facility in California for the application of the coating,” Nasa said.
Once the thermal performance of the coating has been fully verified, a launch readiness date will be set, Nasa said, adding that when the reflector returns to India, teams from Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Isro will integrate it onto the satellite.
“Nisar, the first hardware collaboration between Nasa and Isro on an Earth-observing mission, is a uniquely powerful and trailblazing satellite. By combining two kinds of synthetic aperture radars, it will offer measurements of Earth’s evolving surface – including changes in ice sheets and glaciers, wetlands and forests, and land around volcanoes and earthquake faults,” Nasa said.


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