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Status Report on Major Crown Projects

Report on Departmental Performance 2004



RADARSAT-1, Canada's first Earth Observation satellite, is the only fully operational civilian remote sensing satellite that carries Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). This technology, contrary to optical sensor satellites, has the capacity to image day and night, in all weather conditions, regardless of cloud cover, smoke, haze and darkness. Launched in November 1995, RADARSAT-1 was meant to operate for five years to consistently supply timely, high-quality data to RADARSAT International (RSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) and other partners (federal and provincial government departments, NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). With an impressive 96% operational reliability, RADARSAT-1 is now in its tenth year of operation.

RADARSAT-1 acquires high quality images of the Earth, covering most of Canada every 72 hours and the Arctic every 24 hours. It has proven itself in gathering the data needed for more efficient resource management (e.g. support to fishing, shipping, oil and gas exploration, offshore drilling, mapping) as well as ice, ocean and environmental monitoring, disaster management, and Arctic and offshore surveillance.

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies

Sponsoring Agency: Canadian Space Agency
Contracting Authority: Public Works and Government Services Canada
Participating Departments: Environment Canada
Natural Resources Canada (Canada Centre for Remote Sensing)

Prime and Major Sub-Contractors

Prime Contractor:

- EMS Technologies

- Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec
Major Sub-contractors:

- MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates
- SED Systems
- EMS Technologies
- Lockheed Martin

- Richmond, British Columbia
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Ottawa, Ontario
- Cambridge, Ontario
- Montréal, Québec
Other contractors:

- Ball Aerospace
- RADARSAT International (RSI)

- Boulder, Colorado
- Richmond, British Columbia

Major Milestones

Major milestones of the RADARSAT-1 Major Crown Project are now complete.

Major Milestones Dates
Preliminary studies Complete
Feasibility and concept definition Complete
Systems requirement and preliminary design Complete
Development and testing up to qualification test review Complete
Manufacture of the prototype flight sub-systems up to acceptance testing of the sub-systems Complete
Assembly and integration of the sub-systems up to flight readiness review, plus post-launch and commissioning activities up to system acceptance Complete
- First Antarctica mission
- Second Antarctica mission
- Original Mission Life of five years
Satellite operations April 1996 to
early 2007

Progress Report and Explanation of Variances

Effective Program Approval was obtained for RADARSAT-1 in March 1991, with launch in November 1995 and commencement of operations in April 1996. The initial system included receiving stations for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data in Prince Albert (Saskatchewan), Gatineau (Quebec) and Fairbanks (Alaska). CSA and RADARSAT International Inc. (RSI) have since signed agreements with network stations in Alice Springs and Hobart (Australia), Norway, the United Kingdom, Singapore, China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Japan, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Taiwan, Malaysia, US (Miami), Moscow and Kazakhstan (2 stations). There are also agreements with five transportable stations in the US, one transportable station in France and, one in Italy for the direct reception of RADARSAT-1 data. More stations are expected to join the ever growing RADARSAT-1 network.

Following a commissioning period, routine operations of RADARSAT-1 commenced in April 1996. At the end of March 2005, 204,531 RADARSAT-1 user requests had been planned, and an estimated 362,910 minutes of SAR data had been acquired during more than 49095 orbits. The average system performance is being maintained at better than 96%. The worldwide client base includes more than 600 commercial and government users from over 60 countries.

Operational improvements to the RADARSAT satellite include the implementation of a novel attitude control system to bypass the failing momentum wheels, as well as a transition in the Mission Management Office (MMO) System from frame relay to Internet for all Order Desk services and operational file transfers. This later improvement has resulted in significant cost savings for the CSA, as well as improved response time for Order Desk clients. A new and inexpensive backup strategy using a Linux-based backup server with removable hard disks was implemented to replace the slower and outdated exabyte tape manual backup procedure.

Following extensive in-house software development efforts, operational improvements to the Mission Management Office (MMO) system are noteworthy: (i) completed integration of the data loss information system (DLIS) with Image Strip Catalogue (ISC) for improved visibility of data loss status for clients; (ii) introduced new OBR planning concept and tools within the MMO system for improved utilization of the OBR resource (statistics indicate about 25% more useful data is now stored on the OBR); and (iii) introduced new functionality in MMO system for adding many more network stations into the R1 network, well beyond the previous system limit of 26 stations. The ASF and MCS Order Desk servers were upgraded to newer equipment and operating systems for improved reliability and performance, similar to the RSI and CIS Order Desk servers. All four Order Desk servers are now hosted at CSA for improved maintainability and security. A new Order Desk server is being constructed for the ESA contingency Order Desk. A major system upgrade of mission-critical MMO database servers and controller server (hardware and software) is also in progress.

Moreover, in October 2000, the CSA became a signatory, along with ESA and the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) in France, to the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters". The emphasis of the Charter is on multi-satellite support for disaster response and relief efforts around the world utilising RADARSAT-1 and satellites of the other Charter member agencies. Since its official launch, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have also joined the Charter (September 2001) and participate fully in Charter operations. CONAE, or Argentina's Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, became the 6th member of the Charter when the Argentinean Foreign Minister signed it on July 16, 2003, during a state visit of the President of Argentina to France. Japan Aerospace Explorations Agency (JAXA) became the latest member following its signing of the Charter in February 2005. So far, there have been 77 activations of the Charter on events such as: floods in France, Canada, Russia, Austria, Germany, Indonesia, Morocco, Argentina, Nepal, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Namibia, Haiti, Sudan, Colombia, Guyana, Venezuela, Kenya, Ethiopia, Romania and Bulgaria; landslides in Slovenia, Italy, Nepal, Russia, the Philippines and Argentina; earthquakes in El Salvador, India, Afghanistan, Turkey, Algeria, Iran, Indonesia and Morocco; volcanic eruptions in Italy, Congo, Montserrat, Canary island (Spain) and Columbia; oil spills off the coasts of Ecuador, Lebanon, Denmark, Yemen and Spain; forest fires in France, Portugal and Canada; and, storms in India, Mexico, Sweden, Cook Islands and the Philippines. The major Asian Tsunami disaster in December 2004 in the Indian Ocean was extensively covered by means of the three separates Charter activation. Well over 200 satellite images were acquired and a large number of derived products were delivered. As the Charter lead agency during this unique disaster occurrence, the CSA coordinated the entire disaster event.

The RADARSAT-1 system has been improved to provide a less than 2.5-hour turnaround (on average) in the electronic delivery of images to the Canadian Ice Service (CIS) for the production of ice charts and bulletins for the Canadian Coast Guard and other marine clients. The CIS continues to be one of the leading users of RADARSAT-1 data since the first operational data began to flow in February 1996. Recently, the CIS has been collaborating with Noetix Research, CSA, and RSI on an ESA-sponsored Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Project - The Northern View - to provide regular RADARSAT-1 images in support of a Floe Edge Service for two communities in the Canadian Arctic.

The RADARSAT-1 Background Mission has archived one of the largest microwave remote sensing data collections in the world. In fact, it is the first multi-mode uniformly collected database of its kind ever created. The data archive is the result of several Background Mission global coverage campaigns undertaken in the past seven years. These include a complete coverage of the world's continents, continental shelves and polar ice caps, as well as complete coverage of a great majority of Earth's entire landmass with two RADARSAT-1 imaging beams for the first ever beam-pair stereo data collection. This is the world's largest radargrammetric dataset currently available. Some of the continents, including North America, were covered more than once to generate seasonal snapshots. Several time-and site-specific coverage types have also been done, such as remote oceanic island localities, world's major cities and capitals, polar and other smaller ice caps, and tropical deltas. High-resolution RADARSAT-1 image mosaics of Canada, the U.S., Australia and Africa were produced with Background Mission data. The four-season continuous coverage of the Arctic basin is underway, to continue until the end of satellite operations. This coverage supports growing interest in the Arctic and climate change.

RADARSAT International Inc. continues to provide Earth-Observation data, derived information products, and leading-edge services to global clients. The broad range of RSI products includes geo-corrected imagery, digital elevation models, and application-specific products such as flood and ocean oil-seep vectors to meet the demands for new markets. Products are delivered to clients via Internet in near-real time for time-critical operations such as disaster management and ship navigation. Other services include training, monitoring and emergency response services, and custom product generation, as well as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) project implementation.

Industrial Benefits

The Canadian Space Agency undertook a study to determine the achievements of RADARSAT data in support of ice mapping and related activities in Canada. To date, the Canadian Ice Services is the only Canadian Government operational user of RADARSAT-1 data. RADARSAT-1 provides observations over a wider geographical area, at much lower cost and risk, and in much less time than with an aircraft. As a result, CIS has been able to improve its operational efficiency. Over five years (1995 to 2000), the net average annual savings to CIS operations have been about $7.7 million per year ($38.5 million over 5 years), with the same per year benefits continuing up to and including the eighth year of operations for RADARSAT-1.

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), the largest direct customer of CIS products, has felt these benefits most significantly. The CCG Ice Operation Centres can provide improved routing information to commercial shipping, which allows for faster transit times. The shipping industry has benefited from the accuracy of RADARSAT information to produce ice charts. The shipping companies believe that as a result of RADARSAT-based ice charts, there have been savings in transit time through ice-infested waters. These commercial shipping savings are estimated to be $18 million a year. Other benefits included less damage to ships and a reduction in the need for CCG escorts. The CCG has estimated dollar savings in both operating costs and transit time to be between $3.6 million and $7 million a year, depending on the severity of ice conditions.

In the past, the prime contractor SPAR and its Canadian sub-contractors created over 2,000 person-years of high technology employment during the construction phase of RADARSAT-1. Ongoing mission operations employ 75 people at CSA headquarters in Longueuil (Quebec), 7 in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan), 15 at ground stations in Prince Albert (Saskatchewan) and Gatineau (Quebec), as well as more than 80 at RSI in Richmond (British Columbia). In the highly competitive marketplace for space-based information, RSI continues to capture roughly 15% of the world's space borne remote sensing market. RSI has continued to process scenes and integrate RADARSAT data into information products for delivery to nearly 600 clients in 60 countries, and furthermore, RSI has signed up 80 international distributions, 18 RADARSAT-1 Network Stations and 11 Resources Centres. The market development for data archives is likely to be significant and an area in which new benefits may develop.

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The next generation of Canadian SAR-based satellite, RADARSAT-2, will be the most advanced satellite of its kind in the world. RADARSAT-2 will continue to provide all-weather, day-and-night coverage of the entire globe to support fishing, shipping, oil and gas exploration, offshore drilling, mapping and ocean research. Equipped with a C-band radar system, it will be the first fully commercial SAR satellite to offer multi-polarization, an important aid in identifying a wide variety of surface features and targets. It will also have the capability to image both the right and left with a resolution down to three metres and to access an area of 800 kilometres on either side. This translates into a new range of products and services, which will contribute valuable new information on natural resources and the global environment.

The RADARSAT-2 Major Crown Project, in partnership with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), is elaborating the design, development, testing, deployment and operations of a space-borne SAR satellite to provide global coverage of terrestrial phenomena as a follow-up to RADARSAT-1. Total project cost, including the launch, is estimated at $525 million, with the government contributing $434 million, and the balance of $91 million provided by MDA.

RADARSAT-2 design and construction improves upon RADARSAT-1, with new capabilities to ensure Canada's continued leadership in the satellite remote sensing global marketplace and to create a commercial industrial satellite remote sensing industry in Canada.

Leading and Participating Departments and Agencies

Sponsoring Agency: Canadian Space Agency
Contracting Authority for the CSA/MDA Master Agreement: Canadian Space Agency
Participating Departments: Natural Resources Canada (Canada Centre for Remote Sensing)
Environment Canada
Industry Canada Fisheries and Oceans
National Defence
Foreign Affairs
International Trade

Prime and Major Sub-Contractors

Prime Contractor:

- MacDonald Dettwiler, and Associates

- Richmond, British Columbia
Major Sub-contractors:

- EMS Technologies
- Alenia Aerospazio
- AEC Able Engineering Co.
- RADARSAT International (RSI)
- Boeing, Delta Launch Services

- Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec
- Rome, Italy
- Goletta, California
- Richmond, British Columbia
- Huntingdon Beach, California, U.S.

Major Milestones

The major milestones of the MCP, by phase, are the following:

Phase Major Milestones Date
A et B Requirement Definition June 1999
C System Design May 2002
D1 Sub-System Construction June 2005
D2 Integration and Testing June 2006
E1 Pre-Launch Preparations August 2006
E2 Launch
System Commissioning
September 2006
January 2007
E3 Operations 2007 to 2014

Progress Report and Explanation of Variances

In June 1994, the government directed the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to develop "an arrangement with the private sector for the development and operation of a RADARSAT follow-on program to maintain continuity of data following RADARSAT-1." In February 1998, following a formal Request for Proposal, MDA was selected to construct and operate RADARSAT-2.

The CSA and MDA signed a Master Agreement in December 1998 for the RADARSAT-2 mission, under a firm price agreement in which the government contribution was $225 million, in exchange for data, and MDA was to invest $80 million. The Master Agreement between the CSA and MDA was updated in January 2000 to reflect changes in the schedule and the latest cost estimates. The company (MDA) is responsible for spacecraft operations and business development, while the CSA is responsible for arranging the launch and maintaining the long-term national archive of RADARSAT-2 data. The CSA will also provide an additional "in-kind" contribution of certain assets, plus the services of its David Florida Laboratory and the NRC Institute of Aerospace Research Laboratory for spacecraft integration and testing.

In November 1998, Treasury Board approved the RADARSAT-2 Major Crown Project with a funding envelope of $242.2 million. In March 2000, Treasury Board approved an increase of $47.1 million to cover the cost of changing bus suppliers, required by US -government restrictions imposed on the US bus supplier at that time, and an increase of $12.3 million for upgrades to existing satellite ground station infrastructures. In June 2000, Treasury Board approved an increase of $108 million to cover the cost of procuring a commercial launch as a result of NASA withdrawing from the agreement to provide launch for RADARSAT-2 in exchange for data, as it did for RADARSAT-1. In June 2001, Treasury Board approved an increase of $6 million to cover the cost of critical modifications to be made to the RADARSAT-2 spacecraft in order to accommodate a potential future tandem mission with RADARSAT-3.

The development of the RADARSAT-2 satellite has progressed, though at a slower pace than planned. Delays encountered by the main contractor and sub-contractors in the production of some of the satellite components have resulted in a significant delay in the assembly, integration and testing of the spacecraft. The Extendible Support Structure (ESS), one of the primary spacecraft sub-systems, was delivered to the Assembly, Integration and Test (AI&T) site at the David Florida Laboratory (DFL) in October 2003. The Solar Arrays and the Bus were delivered to DFL in April and May 2004, respectively. The Payload is to be delivered in parts from July 2005 to September 2005. The development of the ground segment is completed. MDA has proceeded with the spacecraft AI&T activities and this will continue until August 2006. Launch is rescheduled for September 2006.

Any additional costs to complete the construction and launch of RADARSAT-2 will be at the main contractor's expense. However, these additional delays will require that the CSA RADARSAT-2 project office remain operational beyond the time for which funding is available for this purpose, at an additional cost of $3.8 million. This will increase the current estimated total expenditure from $414.6 million to $418.4 million. This risk has been previously indentified and the necessary funding to cover the additional cost has been set aside in the CSA Five Year Risk Assessment and Source of Funds Plan and approved by Treasury Board in March 2005.

Industrial Benefits

Significant industrial benefits in the space and earth observation sector are expected from this next-generation satellite system. The RADARSAT-2 program will generate employment growth in the Canadian knowledge-based economy, mostly from export sales, and spur the growth of small- and medium-sized businesses as the Canadian infrastructure and services industry continues to grow.

A major objective of this project is the transition of the Earth Observation industry from the public sector to the private sector. The intention is to build on the SAR data and value-added markets established with RADARSAT-1 to strengthen the Canadian industry's position as a supplier of SAR-related technology, systems and value-added products and services. Specifically, manufacturing potential and competitiveness will be encouraged in Canadian industry in the areas of phased array antenna design/manufacture, high performance receiver/transmitter design and manufacture, and enhanced structure design. Moreover, opportunities will be created for the export of ground station systems. The new capabilities also make new applications possible, creating new and expanded markets for data sales and value-added products.

As of October 31, 2003, the Canadian Space Program has funded $185.9 million worth of work to Canadian industry directly attributable to the Radarsat-2 Major Crown Project (MCP). Direct industrial benefits from the construction of the RADARSAT-2 system will benefit all regions of Canada. The regional distribution of direct industrial benefits is shown in the following table.

Regional Distribution of RADARSAT-2 Contracts
(as of March 2005)

PROGRAMS British Columbia Prairies Provinces Ontario Quebec Atlantic Total Canada
RADARSAT-2 52.1% 0.2% 5.2% 41.9% 0.6% 100%

Note: Due to rounding, decimals may not add up to totals shown.

Summary of Non-Recurring Expenditures ($ in millions)

Current Estimated Total Expenditure Forecast to March 31, 2005 Planned Spending
Future Years
RADARSAT-2 421.6 376.7 12.4 32.5