Source: Video production and NISAR animations: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Methane animations: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio; Amazon field work footage courtesy of A. Pruna
Published: February 21, 2024

A joint U.S.-India satellite mission called NISAR – the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission – will soon set out with new tools to better understand climate change. As a way to validate the satellite’s global, space-based observations, NASA scientists went to the Peruvian Amazon to install a network of sensors that will help calibrate measurements from the NISAR spacecraft.

Why the Amazon? In tropical wetlands, changes in seasonal flooding cycles can lead to increased production of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide.

A collaboration between NASA and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), NISAR will use a sophisticated radar system to track wetland inundation and other changes to Earth’s surface. The satellite is expected to launch in early 2024 from ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India.