The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) announced its selection of Astro Aerospace, a Northrop Grumman Corporation company, to design and manufacture the radar antenna for its NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite.
NISAR will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual L-Band and S-Band frequencies, providing an unprecedented, detailed view of Earth. NISAR is designed to observe some of the planet's most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet dynamics, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides. Data collected from NISAR will reveal information about the evolution and state of the Earth's crust, help scientists better understand our planet's processes and changing climate, and aid future resource and hazard management. The mission is a partnership between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
With 100 percent on orbit success since 1958, Astro Aerospace brings unmatched expertise in space hardware and deployable structures to NISAR. Astro Aerospace will use its proprietary AstroMesh® deployable mesh reflector for NISAR's 12-meter aperture antenna, building an ultralight and extremely stiff reflector that is ideally suited for high frequency communications and radar applications.
"We are very proud to once again work with JPL and support an incredibly important Earth science program," said John A. Alvarez, general manager, Astro Aerospace. "The reflector is based on AstroMesh® technology, which is lighter, stiffer and inherently more accurate than competing technologies."
This program award follows the very successful deployment and spin up of JPL's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, launched Jan. 31, 2015. Astro supplied the 6-meter antenna for SMAP, the largest spinning reflector ever created.