Satellite Characteristics

To gain more insight into the capabilities and technical aspects of the Canadian Earth Observation satellites RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2 and RADARSAT Constellation, below you will find an illustration and a table comparing their features in terms of system characteristics and beam modes.

System Characteristics

General

RADARSAT-1 RADARSAT-2 RADARSAT Constellation
High Resolution m X 8 m
(stripmap mode)
m X 3 m
(spotlight mode)
m X 3 m
(spotlight mode)
Total mass at launch 2,750 kg 2,200 kg 1,300 kg
Mission life 5 years 7 years 7 years (each satellite)
SAR antenna dimensions 15 m x 1.5 m 15 m x 1.5 m 6.75 m x 1.38 m
Solar arrays (each) 2.21 m x 1.32 m 3.73 m x 1.8 m 2.2 m x 1.7 m main power
(one panel vs two for RS1 and 2)
0.5 m x 1.6 m
(keep-alive power)
Bus 3.55 m x 2.46 m 3.7 m x 1.36 m Canadian SmallSat Bus
Look Direction Right looking

Routine left- and right-looking operation
Increased re-visit time for improved monitoring efficiencies

Right looking
Multiple satellites will eliminate need for left and right
looking to increase revisit

Radar

RADARSAT-1 RADARSAT-2 RADARSAT Constellation
Active Antenna C-Band C-Band C-Band
Centre Frequency 5.3 GHz 5.405 GHz 5.405 GHz
Bandwidth 30 MHz 100 MHz 100 MHz
Polarization HH HH, VV, HV, VH HH, VV, HV, VH, Compact Polarimetry
Polarization Isolation > 20 dB > 25 dB > 28 dB
(as of latest specs)
Aperture Length 15 m 15 m 6.75 m
Aperture width 1.5 m 1.37 m 1.38 m
Mass 679 kg 750 kg 400 kg approximate
Deployment Mechanism Extendable support structure (ESS) Extendable support structure (ESS) Simple strut deployment with a kinematically decoupled internal support structure

Orbit

RADARSAT-1 RADARSAT-2 RADARSAT Constellation
Altitude 793-821 km 798 km 592.7 km
Inclination 98,6 degrees 98,6 degrees 97.74 degrees
Duration of one orbit 100.7 min 100.7 min 96.4 min
Descending node 6 hrs. 6 hrs. 6 hrs. +/- 15 min
Ascending node 18 hrs. 18 hrs. 18 hrs.
Sun-synchronous 14 orbits per day 14 orbits per day 14.92 per day

Beam Modes

RADARSAT-1

Modes d'acquisition RADARSAT-1

(Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

Beam Modes Nominal Swath Width
(km)
Nominal Resolution (m)
Fine Resolution 45 8
Standard 100 30
Wide 150 30
ScanSAR narrow 300 50
ScanSAR wide 500 100
Extended high incidence 75 18-27
Extended low incidence 170 30

RADARSAT-2

Beam Mode RADARSAT-2

(Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

Beam Modes Nominal Swath Width (km) Approximate Resolution (m)Footnote 1
Selective Polarization
Transmit H or V receive H and/or V
Fine 50 10 x 9
Standard 100 25 x 28
Low incidence 170 40 x 28
High incidence 75 20 x 28
Wide 150 25 x 28
ScanSAR narrow 300 50 x 50
ScanSAR wide 500 100 x 100
Polarimetric
Transmit H and V on alternate pulses /
receive H and V on any pulse
Fine Quad-pol 25 11 x 9
Standard Quad-pol 25 25 x 28
Selective Single Polarization
Transmit H or V receive H or V
Ultra-Fine 20 3 x 3
Spotlight 18 3 x 1
Multi-Look Fine 50 11 x 9

RADARSAT Constellation

Modes d'acquisition Constellation RADARSAT

(Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

Beam Modes Nominal Swath Width (km) Approximate Resolution (m)
Low Resolution 500 100 x 100
Medium Resolution (Maritime) 350 50 x 50
Medium Resolution (Land) 30 16 x 16
Medium Resolution (Land) 125 30 x 30
High Resolution 30 5 x 5
Very High Resolution 20 3 x 3
Ice/Oil Low Noise 350 100 x 100
25 m ship mode 350 Variable
Spotlight mode 5 1 x 3

Footnote

Footnote 1

Ground range by azimuth.

Return to footnote 1 referrer