The National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently developed a new satellite that can monitor seismic fluctuations on the planet. In this technological age, a scientific development like this becomes extremely necessary. The satellite can track not only earthquakes but also alert the authorities in the event of an unexpected volcano eruption. The radar is known as the CubeSat Imaging Radar for Earth Sciences (CIRES).
How does it Operate
The CIRES satellite can detect ever single movement of a volcano and predict if it is likely to explode. The satellite operates on an S-band radar allowing it to penetrate through foliage and pieces of land. This thereby permits the CIRES to record seismic and volcanic changes on the ground that are usually unnoticed. With the CIRES’ S-band Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar, NASA’s scientists are able to study these changes and make possible future predictions.
The satellite was first tested in July 2018 and was flown over the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii. The findings of the radar allowed Nasa researchers to come up with a detailed map of the island. They were also able to locate the minute changes that occurred in the land before the volcano erupted.
Its Impact on Earth’s Future
The findings of the CISER satellite can change the way we deal with catastrophes such as earthquakes and volcanoes. The detection of small changes in a land preceding the earthquake or volcano can be used to alert authorities and help massively in evacuation.
NASA Researchers have added that an intricate network of satellites similar to the CISER will be launched to track all sort of seismic activity on the planet. This will help NASA detect volcanoes and earthquakes at a much larger scale and with much more precision. Apart from the probability of an imminent earthquake, the geo scientists at NASA can also approximate the magnitude of the disaster.NASA Researchers have added that an intricate network of satellites similar to the CISER will be launched to track all sort of seismic activity on the planet. This will help NASA detect volcanoes and earthquakes at a much larger scale and with much more precision. Apart from the probability of an imminent earthquake, the geo scientists at NASA can also approximate the magnitude of the disaster.
The Principal investigator of the project, Lauren Wye addressed the media to explain the purpose of the satellite “The CubeSat Imaging Radar for Earth Sciences, or CIRES, can help decision-makers and emergency managers obtain observations sooner after a hazardous event so that they are better prepared to deal with disaster relief,” she added.
Other Recent projects of NASA
The CISER satellite could be a great addition to the joint satellite being launched by NASA and ISRO. The NASA- ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or the NISAR as it is popularly known, will be the first radar imaging satellite to employ dual frequencies. The NISAR can be used to understand complex phenomena occurring on the surface of the earth, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and even the melting of glaciers. Equipped with both, an L band and an S band radar, the satellite is the most expensive earth imaging satellite, ever to be launched.
The NISAR and CISER together can revolutionize the way we deal with natural calamities. The data retrieved by the NISAR along with the seismic reading of the CISER, will help researchers at NASA locate the exact epicentre of an earthquake, along with its magnitude and duration.
The new generation of satellites has seen a massive improvement in disaster management, with the CISER being a great example. The commendable work of the scientists and NASA and ISRO has ensured that the authorities are always prepared in the event of a calamity and are equipped to save lives.