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The RADARSAT family consists of a pair of Canadian Remote Sensing satellites:

The RADARSAT-1 satellite was Canada's first commercial Earth observation satellite developed to monitor the planet's natural resources and environmental changes. It was equipped with a state-of-the-art synthetic aperture radar (SAR) instrument that could be steered to collect data over a 1175 km wide area using seven beam modes.

RADARSAT-2 is a jointly-funded satellite mission of CSA (Canadian Space Agency) and MDA (MacDonald Dettwiler Associates Ltd. of Richmond, BC), representing a Canadian government/industry partnership in a commercial venture. RADARSAT-2 is an advanced state-of-the-art technology follow-on satellite mission of RADARSAT-1 with the objective to:

  • continue Canada's RADARSAT programme and to develop an Earth Observation satellite business through a private sector-led arrangement with the federal government
  • provide data continuity to RADARSAT-1 users and to offer data for new applications tailored to market needs.
Minimize Mission News
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International effort reveals Greenland ice loss

13 November 2015

One of Greenland's glaciers is losing five billion tonnes of ice a year to the ocean, according to researchers. While these new findings may be disturbing, they are reinforced by a concerted effort to map changes in ice sheets with different sensors from space agencies around the world.

RADARSAT data available

21 March 2014

ESA is offering limited amounts of RADARSAT-1 and -2 data for science and application development.

Minimize Mission Facts and Figures
Operator RADARSAT-1: CSA (Canadian Space Agency)
RADARSAT-2: MDA (MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.)
Launch date RADARSAT-1: 04 November 1995
RADARSAT-2: 14 December 2007
Mission status RADARSAT-1: Decommissioned on 29 March 2013
RADARSAT-2: Became operational in April 2008
SAR antenna dimensions 15 x 1.5 m
Onboard data recording RADARSAT-1: Tape recorder (analogue)
RADARSAT-2: Solid-state recorder (384 Gbit) and addressable data retrieval
Imaging frequency RADARSAT-1: C-band at 5.3 GHz
RADARSAT-2: C-band at 5.405 GHz
Spatial resolution of data 1 - 100 metres
Swath widths 18 - 500 km
Polarisation HH; HV; VH; VV; HH+HV; VV+VH; HH+VV+HV+VH
Altitude RADARSAT-1: 793-821 km
RADARSAT-2: 798 km
Inclination 98.6 degrees
Duration of one orbit 100.7 min
Descending node 6 hours
Ascending node 18 hours
Sun-synchronous 14 orbits per day
Repeat cycle 24 days
Look direction of SAR antenna RADARSAT-1: Right
RADARSAT-2: Routine left- and right-looking operation
Increased re-visit time for improved monitoring efficiencies