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OCO-2 - Orbiting Carbon Observatory
Mission Concept Overview

The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or NISAR, Mission will make global integrated measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes. NISAR provides 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 Concept

NISAR’s unprecedented coverage in space and time will 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 will reveal information about the evolution and state of the Earth’s crust.

NISAR Mission: All-Weather Day and Night Imaging

The NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) Mission will acquire radar images of surface changes globally. Rapid sampling over years to decades will allow for understanding Earth processes and change.

Radar penetrates clouds and operates day and night making NISAR an all-weather mission. Orbiting radar captures images of the movements of the Earth’s surface, and land and sea ice over time and with sufficient detail to reveal subtle changes and what is happening below the surface. It captures forest volume and biomass over time and with enough detail to reveal changes on hectare scales. It produces images with resolution to see local changes and has broad enough coverage to measure regional events. Images are detailed enough to see local changes, and coverage is broad enough to measure regional trends and events. The detailed observations will reveal information allowing us to better manage resources and prepare for and cope with hazards and global change.

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