NASA has decided to launch a mission to find the source of fresh water on Earth through the SWOT satellite. Now you must be thinking that when the world is made up of 75 percent water, why did the US agency need to find sources of water? Let us tell you that even though there is no shortage of water in the world, but all this water is not potable. Only a limited part of it can be used and consumed in daily life. The agency has prepared to collect all the important information and data about the system of all the rivers present in the earth in case of water shortage in the future.
To identify these hidden sources, the US agency has launched a joint mission with the French space agency Center National d’Études Spatial (CNES). For this, both the agencies will prepare a Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite to map the Earth. According to NASA, this satellite will provide a better understanding of the Earth’s water cycle. Apart from this, the satellite will also help in better management of water resources. It will also provide depth on how climate change affects lakes, rivers and reservoirs.
The satellite will measure the height of water bodies on Earth’s surface. It will also do the work of observing features like eddies less than 100 km into the sea. NASA says the SWOT will also measure more than 95 percent of Earth’s lakes over 15 acres and rivers more than 330 feet wide. The spacecraft will measure the height of water in a lake, river or reservoir, as well as its extent or surface area. This vital information will enable scientists to calculate how much water moves through bodies of freshwater.
“The current database may contain information on a few thousand lakes worldwide. SWOT will push that number to between 2 million and 6 million,” Tamlin Pawelsky, NASA freshwater science lead for SWOT, said in a statement.
NASA has a blog The spacecraft will use a Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn), which bounces a radar pulse off the surface of the water and receives a return signal with two antennas at the same time. The radar will be able to collect information about the planet’s roughly 120-kilometer-wide region at once.
The SWOT mission is scheduled to launch in November from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.