Two satellites of the RADARSAT family are currently
operational. The first one, Radarsat-1, was developed by the Canadian
Space Agency (CSA) to monitor environmental changes and the planet's
Radarsat-2 is the result of a unique collaboration
between the Canadian government and industry. Supported by the CSA,
the satellite was developed by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates
Ltd. (MDA). This Canadian next-generation commercial radar satellite
offers powerful technical advancements that enhance marine surveillance,
ice monitoring, disaster management, environmental monitoring, resource
management and mapping in Canada and around the world.
The RADARSAT Constellation is a mission set up
by CSA, with as primary objective to ensure data continuity over
the next decade.
A three-satellite configuration is foreseen, with
satellite launches planned for 2014 and 2015.
altitude: 798 km
inclination: 98.6 degrees
orbit: sun-synchronous polar
orbit period: 100.7 minutes
revisit time: 24 days
||(4/11/1995 - still operational)
||(14/12/2007 – operationel)
RADARSAT-1 is equipped with a powerful synthetic aperture radar
(SAR) instrument, allowing acquisition of images of the Earth day
and night, in all weather and through cloud cover, smoke and haze.
RADARSAT's SAR instrument can shape and steer its radar beam. A
wide variety of beam widths are available to capture swaths of 45
to 500 kilometres, with a range of 8 to 100 metres in resolution
and incidence angles of 10 to 60 degrees. Consequently it can yield
stereoscopic images as well.
||band C (5,3 Ghz)
||8 m < pixel < 100m
SAR sensors (Radarsat-2)
Radarsat-2 is also equipped with a SAR sensor, but this one presents
a series of technical innovations. It can transmit horizontal (H)
and vertical (V) polarizations and, depending on the selected mode,
the sensor receives either H or V signals or both of the signals
simultaneously. Therefore, in addition to providing complete RADARSAT-1
continuity (HH), RADARSAT-2 generates products with VV polarization,
cross-polarization (HV or VH), dual-polarization (HH+HV or VV+VH)
or quad-polarization (HH+VV+HV+VH). Each scattering element has
varying sensitivities to different surface characteristics and properties,
helping to improve the discrimination between features.
Left- and right-looking modes (dual-sided imaging) on RADARSAT-2
reduce the revisit time by one half and the accessibility swath
is doubled. Finally, the spatial resolution is reduced to 3m.
||band C (5,405 Ghz)
||HH, VV, HV, VH
||3 m < pixel < 100m
Data distributor: MDA