The Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO) is considered an international leader in the development and use of synthetic aperture radar or SAR sensors. From space, SAR can image the Earth’s surface through clouds and in total darkness. This makes it a tremendously useful sensor for monitoring Canada’s changing landmass and coastal zones.
CCMEO scientists have worked with the Canadian Space Agency in the development of both RADARSAT 1 and RADARSAT 2 satellite missions. Their research has led to improved data quality through enhanced sensor design and post-launch calibration and validation activities.
Using RADARSAT data, as well as SAR data from foreign sensors (e.g. TeraSAR-X, ALOS), new methods are being developed to measure and monitor:
- Surface water (incl. flooding) and wetlands
Polarimetric RADARSAT-2 for Monitoring Canadian Wetlands
Monitoring Open Fresh Water in Northern Environment, Using SAR imagery and FnFCE
- Freshwater lake and river ice
Mapping and Monitoring Lake Ice using SAR Satellites
River Ice Mapping and Monitoring using SAR Satellites
- Surface deformation and slope stability
InSAR Measurements of Terrain Stability in Canada's North
InSAR monitoring of permafrost activity, NWT, Canada
Past research has focused on:
- 3D Radargrammetric Modeling of RADARSAT-2 Ultra-Fine Mode: Preliminary Results of the Geometric Evaluation
In the future, constellations of SAR satellites will provide daily coverage of Canada. CCMEO is leading a Government of Canada research and development effort to prepare for the 3-satellite RADARSAT Constellation Mission to be launched in 2018.