Nisar Completes Successful Thermal Vacuum Test

  • 17 Nov 2023

Recently, NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced the completion of the thermal vacuum test for Nisar, the collaborative Earth-observing radar satellite, demonstrating its ability to operate in extreme temperatures and the vacuum of space.

Key Points

  • Test Success at ISRO Facility in Bengaluru: The 21-day thermal vacuum test, conducted at ISRO’s Satellite Integration and Test Establishment in Bengaluru, evaluates Nisar's resilience to extreme temperatures and space conditions.
  • Battery of Tests Leading to Launch: In addition to thermal vacuum testing, the satellite will undergo various assessments, including evaluations for launch-induced shaking, vibration, and jostling.
  • Launch Scheduled for Early 2024: Nisar, set to launch in early 2024, will scan the entire planet's land and ice surfaces every 12 days, monitoring movements with high precision.
  • Nisar's Mission and Capabilities: Nisar, short for Nasa-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, is the first collaborative earth-observing mission between NASA and ISRO.
  • It will observe earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity, and track dynamic changes in forests, wetlands, and agricultural lands.
  • Thermal Chamber Testing Details: The satellite, partially covered in gold-hued thermal blanketing, undergoes an 80-hour 'cold soak' at minus 10 degrees Celsius and a 'hot soak' at up to 50 degrees Celsius, simulating temperature swings in orbit.
  • Next Steps for Nisar: With successful thermal vacuum and compact antenna tests, the satellite will soon be equipped with solar panels and a 40-foot radar antenna reflector before being transported to the launch site.
  • NASA and ISRO Collaboration Details: Nisar represents the first joint hardware development for an earth-observing mission between NASA and ISRO.
  • NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California leads the US component, providing key components, while ISRO's UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru leads the Indian component, supplying the spacecraft bus and launch vehicle.