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Synthetic Aperture Radar

The Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) is considered an international leader in the development and use of synthetic aperture radar (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.

CCRS scientists have worked with the Canadian Space Agency in the development of the RADARSAT 1, RADARSAT 2 and RADARSAT Constellation satellite missions. Their research has led to improved data quality and utility through enhanced sensor design, calibration and validation activities, and application development.

RADARSAT-1 Mosaic of Canada collected over a seven-day period in 1999

Radarsat-1 mosaic of Canada

The mosaic was produced by the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and with contributions from MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. RADARSAT-1 data © CSA

RADARSAT-1 captured the 276 images that comprise these 100-metre resolution mosaics of the Canadian provinces over a brief seven-day period in January 1999. The result is a nearly instantaneous snapshot of the entire country.

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:

Past research has focused on:

Launched in June 2019, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) provides daily coverage of Canada. Through their radar science, CCRS has contributed significantly to ensuring RADARSAT users inside and outside the Government of Canada are ready to use RCM data.

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