NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar S-Band (S-SAR)


The S-band synthetic aperture radar (S-SAR) aboard the joint NASA/Indian Space Research Organization SAR (NISAR) mission operates at a wavelength of 12 cm and will be used for targeted sensing of light vegetation. Like NISAR’s L-band SAR, the S-band SAR can see through objects like clouds and the leaves of a forest canopy that obstruct other types of instruments, although it cannot penetrate as deeply into dense vegetation as L-band SAR given its shorter (12 cm vs. 24 cm) wavelength. The instrument is composed of 48 S-band transmit/receive array elements in 2 rows, 24 per polarization. The S-band SAR will be used to produce data over science areas of interest to India that are above and beyond the NASA requirements, including coastal bathymetry (depth of water) and ocean winds, geology over India, and coastal shoreline studies. The S-band also will be used in polar regions, as its signal is less sensitive to ionospheric disturbances.

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