Maritime Surveillance

Ice and iceberg monitoring

User Requirements Expected Results and
SAR Capabilities
  • Ice Concentration
  • Stage of development
  • Floe size
  • Ridging
  • Ice Strength
  • Assuring safe and efficient maritime navigation in hazardous ice conditions.
  • Improved Weather Forecast.
  • Supporting Canada's multi-billion maritime trade and northern sovereignty.

"RADARSAT data has proven to be a very cost-effective way of monitoring ice conditions throughout Canadian waters and has enabled us to expand our service and reduce the Canadian Ice Services budgets by about $6 million dollars a year in terms of data acquisition."

- B. Ramsay, CIS

Marine winds

User Requirements Expected Results and
SAR Capabilities
Frequent and high-resolution near-surface wind information.
  • Improving weather forecasting and warning systems.
  • Support to marine operations.
  • Site selection for wind farms, oil spill drift information, search and rescue support.
SAR-derived surface wind-speed image at 1 km resolution from a RADARSAT-1 image.

Oil Pollution Monitoring

User Requirements Expected Results and
SAR Capabilities
  • Detection and mapping of oil spills with minimum width of 100 m.
  • Detection and positioning of adjacent ships within the same surveillance swath.
  • Concurrent estimates of surface wind vector over ocean.
  • Near real-time reports on oil spills.
  • Improving Canada's response to the monitoring, containment and clean-up of oil spills.
  • Contributing to surveillance efforts of ISTOP.
  • Protection of sensitive coastal zone from environmental pollution.

"Availability of RADARSAT-1 data is the biggest technological blessing to the people to counter this large scale disaster."

- Makoto Higashi, General Manager, Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan

Ship Detection

User Requirements Expected Results and
SAR Capabilities
  • Detect ships >= 25 m length in up to sea state 5.
  • Detecting vessels > 100 tons in up to sea state 5.
  • Detection of illegal fishing by foreign vessels in Canadian waters.
  • Protection of fisheries against over-exploitation and illegal shipping.
  • Enhanced maritime domain awareness of Canada's coasts and their approaches.
  • Improved security and support to sovereignty.
RADARSAT-1's capability to detect ships has enabled it to become a valuable resource for maritime surveillance programs.