On August 25, 2010, in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced support for the next phase of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), a system of three advanced remote sensing satellites.
The RADARSAT Constellation marks the next phase of Canada’s efforts to use space to our advantage. From the unique vantage point of space, the RADARSAT Constellation will provide National Defence with daily coverage of Canada’s land mass and ocean approaches from coast-to-coast-to-coast, especially in the Arctic, and support our troops deployed on active service in Canada and abroad.
Through Budget 2010, the Harper Government announced additional support for the Canadian Space Agency to develop the RADARSAT Constellation Mission. Government support for the RCM will advance the Government’s priority to position Canada as a key player in advanced research and space technology development.
For more details, please visit the Prime Minister's Web Site
RADARSAT Constellation Mission
Canada has an enviable history of putting space to use for Canadians. The images that our RADARSAT satellites provide have improved our delivery of disaster relief, here at home, during the floods in Manitoba, and abroad when we brought much needed support to Haiti.
In the North, RADARSAT satellites provide a unique means by which we can monitor our territories and assure the safe navigation of ships in our coastal waters. The price of wheat on international markets is influenced by satellite images of crops. Our defence and security forces rely on the pictures provided by RADARSAT of our borders and the theatres where our troops are active.
The RADARSAT Constellation is a fleet of three state-of-the-art remote-sensing satellites, the successors of the RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 satellites. They will extend the 15-year archive of RADARSAT images, a rich source of geophysical information of Canada and the world. These images are a critical resource of information documenting environmental changes and human habitation and are of key interest to government and university researchers, scientists, and policy makers.
Images supplied by the Constellation will also support the sustainable management, development and use of natural resources, enhance weather monitoring, support the enforcement of fisheries and environmental regulations, secure the safety of navigation in our coastal waters and provide support for disaster management, humanitarian and relief efforts.
The RADARSAT Constellation will be a collective effort: a private company, MDA of Richmond, B.C. has been contracted by the Canadian Space Agency to design the Constellation; the RADARSAT Constellation Mission will be owned and operated by the Government of Canada; and the RADARSAT Constellation will enhance the reliability, scope and delivery of critical images supporting the operational needs of many Government Departments and Agencies.
Since the project was initiated in 2005, the Canadian Space Agency has contracted MDA to carry out the feasibility studies and has allocated $86 million to undertake the detailed design phase (C), estimated to be completed in 2012, setting the stage for construction of the three state-of-the-art satellites.
The Government’s commitment to ensuring Canada maintains a strong and dynamic space industry, announced in Budget 2010, has provided the Canadian Space Agency with $397 million in new funds, over five years, to work with Canadian space industry to develop the RADARSAT Constellation Mission.
The Canadian Space Agency will contribute $100 million from existing resources to bring the total to $497 million that will be invested over five years in advanced research, technology development and lead to the construction of the three satellites of the Mission. The bulk of this spending will occur after 2011–12, with the satellite launches planned for 2014 and 2015.
MDA of Richmond, B.C., is internationally recognized for its expertise in the design and development of space robotics, space satellites and satellite components. MDA has also been a key partner with the Government of Canada in the design and development of the Canadarm, Canadarm2, RADARSAT-2, and Canada’s contribution of an advanced meteorological weather station on NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander.