This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at Radarsat

Class: Earth. Type: Radarsat. Nation: Canada. Agency: Canadian Space Agency (CSA) . Manufacturer: SPAR Aerospace, Ball Space Systems.

Canada's Radarsat is a radar satellite featuring variable resolution, and different view angles at a number of preset positions. This sophisticated remote sensing satellite is a Canadian-led project involving the United States. It will carry a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), a powerful microwave instrument that can transmit and receive signals to "see" through clouds and darkness, obtaining detailed images of the Earth. This will provide significant advantages in viewing under conditions that preclude observation by aircraft or optical satellites. RADARSAT collects data on resource management, ice, ocean and environmental monitoring and Arctic and off-shore surveillance. RADARSAT will also support fishing, shipping, oil exploration, offshore drilling and ocean research. The RADARSAT will provide complete global coverage with the flexibility to support specific requirements. Spacecraft: The spacecraft solar array provides 2.1 kW of power. The three NiCd batteries are rated at 48 Ah. Cube shaped bus, with an earth facing SAR antenna measuring 15 meters across. Payload: Using a single 5.3 GHz C-Band SAR with a wavelength of 5.6 cm, Radarsat will have the unique ability to shape and steer its beam over a 500 kilometre range. Beam selections can image swaths from 35 kilometres to 500 kilometres with resolutions from 10 meters to 100 meters respectively. Incidence angles will range from less than 20 degrees to 60 degrees via a steerable antenna. The RF bandwidth of the system varies between 1.6, 17.3 or 30.0 Mhz, with a peak transmitter peak of 5kW. The maximum data rate is 85 Mb/s (recorded) or 105 Mb/s (in real time).
$ 475 million project. Ball contract in 1989 for satellite frame valued at $ 55 million.


Design Life: 5 years. Total Length: 1.5 m. Maximum Diameter: 1.2 m. Total Mass: 2,713 kg.

Radarsat Chronology

04 November 1995 Radarsat Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925. Mass: 2,713 kg. Perigee: 790 km. Apogee: 792 km. Inclination: 98.6 deg.

Earth imaging with synthetic aperture radar.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .