As Quad leaps forward, India is deepening space ties with the US, Japan and Australia, the other three member nations of the group.
Known as the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue,” the Quad group held its first virtual summit last week.
The four countries plan to establish a series of working groups that will focus on climate change; Critical and emerging technologies, including work to establish technology standards and norms and joint development of some of the critical technologies of the future, officials said.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) last week sent the S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to the US space agency NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the joint NASA-ISRO SAR mission progressed ( NISAR).
NISAR is a joint collaboration for a dual frequency L and S band SAR for Earth observation.
“NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different radar frequencies (L band and S band) to measure changes in the surface of our planet less than one centimeter wide,” according to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration ).
The mission is scheduled for launch in 2022 from ISRO’s Sriharikota spaceport in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, about 100 kilometers north of Chennai.
NASA is providing the mission’s L-band SAR, a high-speed communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid-state recorder, and a payload data subsystem.
ISRO is providing the spacecraft bus, S-band radar, launch vehicle and associated launch services for the mission, which aims to make global measurements of the causes and consequences of changes to the Earth’s surface using imagery. advanced radar.
On March 11, the Bengaluru-based ISRO and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reviewed ongoing cooperation in earth observation, lunar cooperation and satellite navigation.
“Both parties have agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in spatial situational awareness (SSA) programs and professional exchange,” according to ISRO.
On the occasion, ISRO and JAXA signed an ‘Implementation Agreement’ for collaborative activities on the rice growing area and the monitoring of air quality, using satellite data ”.
ISRO and JAXA have planned a joint mission, Lunar Polar Exploration (LUPEX), to explore the south pole of the Moon in 2023.
LUPEX got a boost as it was reportedly allocated 2.8 billion yen ($ 26 million) by Japan for fiscal 2021.
In February, ISRO and the Australian Space Agency (ASA) signed an amendment to the ‘2012 intergovernmental MoU between India and Australia for cooperation in civil space science, technology and education’.
This amendment makes the Indian Department of Space and ASA the Executive Organizations and provides scope for other related entities to conclude implementation agreements for specific cooperative activities.
The two agencies reviewed the status of ongoing cooperative activities in earth observation, satellite navigation, spatial situational awareness and establishment of a transportable terminal in Australia to support India’s ‘Gaganyaan’ programs.
Australian Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the new agreement strengthens existing ties between Australia and India and allows the two countries to work more closely than ever in the space for the benefit of both nations.
ASA Director Enrico Palermo said the signing symbolizes the importance of the strong collaborative partnership between the Agency and ISRO, which will seek to identify new areas of cooperation in space technology, applications, education and outreach.
“An ISRO-built L- and S-band airborne SAR (ASAR) flew over the United States aboard NASA aircraft during November-December 2019 and data acquisitions were made at 92 sites.
ASAR repeat flight campaigns are being planned for spring and summer 2021, ”according to ISRO.
“Both agencies are working on a deployment arrangement to bring NASA’s Laser Reflectometer Array (LRA) into Chandrayaan-3.
The Joint ISRO-NASA Working Group on the Human Space Flight Program (HSP) is exploring opportunities for collaboration, ”he said.
ISRO and JAXA are working specifically to share Earth observation data and carry out calibration / validation experiments, and establish the ISRO NavIC reference station in Japan.
NavIC refers to the space segment consisting of the constellation of eight IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) satellites.
Both agencies completed the feasibility study for LUPEX and are currently finalizing the Phase-A study report, according to ISRO.