Maritime Surveillance

For maritime surveillance, radar satellite systems are the preferred choice, particularly for marine and coastal areas with cloudy and foggy weather conditions. This technology has the advantage of being able to obtain data regardless of climate conditions or the time of day.

On radar images, like the ones produced with RADARSAT 1 and 2, ships appear as shiny points contrasted against a dark background of open water. The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) will make it even easier to identify ships by combining automatic identification system technology with radar imagery, and to distinguish between open water and coastal areas through changes in image tone.

The RCM will make it possible to monitor oil spills more closely. In addition to locating them, we can predict the direction they will take and their drift by using a map of marine wind directions derived from radar images. The accuracy of these predictions will be very helpful to environmental protection organizations.

Ice and iceberg monitoring

Credit: Brocken Inaglory

User requirements Expected results and benefits
  • Knowledge of ice quantity, density and strength, as well as of the ice and ice ridge formation cycle
  • Ability to ensure safe, efficient navigation by improving weather forecasting methods and facilitating access to resources
  • Support for Canada's commercial marine sector

Marine winds

Credit: Leonard G.

User requirements Expected results and benefits
  • Frequent and precise information on near-marine surface winds
  • Improved weather forecasting and warning systems (including oil spill drift information) in order to provide support for marine operations
  • Information to support decision making concerning site selection for wind farms

Oil pollution monitoring

Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

User requirements Expected results and benefits
  • Detection and mapping of oil spills in Canadian waters
  • Detection and positioning of adjacent ships

Ship detection

Credit: Canadian Coast Guard

User requirements Expected results and benefits
  • Detection of ships of various sizes navigating in Canadian waters
  • Detection of ships conducting illegal fishing in Canadian waters
  • Help protect marine biodiversity and combat overexploitation and illegal fishing
  • Improved awareness and understanding of the maritime situation near Canada's coasts
  • Enhanced security in support of Canadian sovereignty