The Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) has partnered with ISRO for NISAR Phase II research programme.

NASA and ISRO are collaboratively developing a space-borne synthetic aperture radar (NISAR), scheduled for launch in 2024. NISAR aims to revolutionise earth resource observation by providing high-resolution data for extensive areas. This project holds significant potential for the systematic monitoring of agriculture, forestry, wetlands, and soil moisture estimation.

The first phase involved the validation of ground truth data in the forest biomass of Shimoga, Hoshangabad (MP), and Nilambur regions.

Following the successful completion of the initial phase of the ISRO-NISAR program, KUFOS stands as one of the key agencies in South India selected to lead the implementation of the second phase.

Under the leadership of Girish Gopinath, Associate Professor & Head of Remote Sensing and GIS at KUFOS, along with U Surendran, Principal Scientist at CWRDM, and K.A Sreejith, Principal Scientist at KFRI as Co-investigators, the second phase will concentrate on optimizing drone-mounted optical and LIDAR data for forest biomass stock estimation in the study areas of Shimoga, Nilambur, and Hoshangabad (MP) within a larger inventory plot.

The project will validate NISAR forest biomass products using ground-measured inventory data, processed LIDAR data, and optical images of Airborne data.

The results of the research are poised to play a pivotal role in advancing our understanding of forest ecosystems and hydrology, contributing significantly to global efforts in sustainable resource management.