What is SWOT?

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What is  SWOT? Blog Image


Recently, NASA has launched a satellite to conduct a comprehensive study of Oceans, rivers and Lakes around the world.


  • The launched satellite is named as SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography).
  • The advanced radar satellite is designed to give an unprecedented view of the life covering 70% of the planet, shedding new light on the mechanics and consequences of climate change.
  • The satellite incorporates advanced microwave radar technology which will collect surface measurements of oceans, lakes, reservoirs and rivers in high-definition details.


  • SWOT is being jointly developed by NASA and Centre National D'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and United Kingdom Space Agency.

Advantages of the satellite:

  • It sweeps of the planet at least twice every 21 days, will enhance Ocean circulation models bolster weather and climate forecasts and aid in managing scarce freshwater supplies in drought-stricken regions.
  • It is equipped to observe the entire length of nearly all rivers wider than 330 feet and more than 1 million lakes and reservoirs larger than 5 acres.
  • It will precisely measure fine differences in surface elevations around smaller currents and eddies, where much the oceans’ drawdown of heat and carbon is believed to occur.


Q1) What is NASA and its purpose?

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is a United States government agency responsible for science and technology related to air and space, created in 1958 to oversee U.S. space exploration and aeronautics research.

Source: The Hindu