RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) Pre-launch Preparedness Using Simulated Products

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline: Until the RCM launch

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Roles, Relations and Obligations
  3. Application Process and Guidelines for the Preparation of Proposals
  4. Selection and Implementation of Projects
  5. Limitations and Obligations

Acronyms

1. Introduction

The RADARSAT Constellation is the evolution of the RADARSAT Program with the objective of ensuring synthetic aperture radar (SAR) C-band data continuity, enhanced operational use of SAR data and improved system reliability over the next decade. It will continue to provide all-weather day and night data in support of Canadian sovereignty and security, environmental monitoring, natural resources management and other government priorities. The three-satellite constellation will provide average daily coverage of Canada's vast territory and maritime approaches. With the increased frequency of revisit, a new series of applications enabled through the constellation approach are expected to emerge.

1.1 Objectives

In order to prepare Canada's user community to the upcoming RCM, scheduled for launch in , the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) intends to provide access to a limited number of RADARSAT-2 (R2) products and a toolbox to simulate RCM data until the mission is declared operational.

Pre-launch data is usually required to adapt and test ingestion routines and to better understand the potential impact of the new beam mode specifications (e.g. system noise, spatial resolution, and spatial coverage) offered by RCM on the applications currently using SAR products.

With the support of the CSA, the Canada Centre for Mapping & Earth Observation (Natural Resources Canada) developed a toolbox with the following functionalities:

The toolbox can simulate the ten RCM beam modes (Appendix A) at their expected spatial resolutions, ranging from 1 m to 100 m, as well as the different level of information for each polarization configuration at their expected noise equivalent sigma zero (NESZ). RCM Compact Polarization (CP) data are derived from R2 fully polarimetric modes and users can reduce/increase the NESZ as well as having the ability to apply an ellipticity pattern for the CP configuration. Finally, the tool provides four speckle filters and can produce a set of 26 decomposed parameters to support further analyses.

1.2 Schedule

This announcement of opportunity (AO) will be open until the RCM launch date, expected in Q3 .

1.3 Eligibility

For this AO, only post-secondary institutions, public organizations, research centres and industry duly established in Canada are eligible.

1.4 Funding

No funding will be provided by the CSA to the selected projects issued from this AO.

Proposers should clearly indicate the expected funding to realize the project as well as its source, whether from within or outside the Proposer's organization. Only Proposers demonstrating the capability to complete the project, as described, will be awarded data. Firm commitments with respect to all resources required to carry out the work associated with the proposal must be provided in writing upon the signature of the loan agreement for data to be used for research purposes.

2. Roles, Relations and Obligations

2.1 CSA

The CSA is responsible for the following with respect to approved projects:

In addition, CSA will:

2.2 Proposers

The Proposers shall:

3. Application Process and Guidelines for the Preparation of Proposals

This section provides guidelines for the preparation of a proposal. In order to ensure an unbiased comparative analysis of proposals and to assist in their evaluation, proposals should strictly adhere to these guidelines.

Those wishing to submit a proposal under the AO Initiative must complete a two steps process:

3.1 General Guidelines

The following general guidelines explain how to submit a proposal in response to this AO document.

3.2 Proposal Content

Proposals shall be submitted online using the web link provided by the CSA and must be concise. The following guidelines must be observed:

  1. Principal Investigator

    This section should provide the name, contact information and affiliation of the principal investigator ('Proposer') for the project, who will be the point of contact between the Parties.

  2. Secondary Investigator(s)

    This section should provide the name, contact information and affiliation of any secondary investigator(s). Contact information should be provided for the team members, partners, subcontractors and end-users. The purpose of this information is to confirm the level of interest in and commitment to the project on the part of the individual or organization. Secondary investigators are not required to be part of a Canadian organization.

  3. Proposed Project Objectives

    This section should provide a concise statement of the technical objectives of the project and explain how the project meets the objectives of the AO initiative.

  4. SAR Team Knowledge

    This section should provide a succinct presentation of the project team and of the organization of the work described in the technical proposal. The members of the project team should be presented along with a description of their expertise and their roles in the achievement of the objectives of the project and the AO initiative. In the proposal, the principal investigator and his or her team must demonstrate interest and ability in terms of transforming SAR data into useful information products.

  5. Proposed Method

    This section should describe the approach and method to be used to achieve the project and AO objectives. It should also list and describe the tasks to be completed, with start and end dates.

    The technical proposal should also indicate the availability of the equipment and facilities required to support the methodology.

  6. SAR Understanding and RCM Technological Advantage

    This section should explain to what extent the future RCM data could provide a technological advantage to a methodology or a product. It should address competing technologies and explain how the future RCM data could provide a competitive advantage over data from other sensors.

  7. Potential Impact on Future Applications

    This section should explain to what extent a methodology or a product derived from future RCM data could provide advantages to one or more applications. It should address competing methodologies and products and explain how the ones derived from future RCM data could provide an advantage to one or more applications.

  8. Study Area

    Identify the region(s) of interest (country, province, city or other specific boundaries, where possible) and specify geographic coordinates (Lat/Long). The initiative favours Canadian study areas. Although the principal investigator must be duly registered Canadian organization, the study area may be located outside the country.

  9. Scenes Requested

    A maximum of 20 already processed R2 scenes per proposal may be requested. New satellite acquisitions will not be allowed.

  10. Expected Funding Source

    This section should clearly indicate the expected funding for the project as well as its source, whether from within or outside the Proposer's organization. Only Proposers demonstrating the capability to complete the project, as described, will be awarded data. Firm commitments with respect to all resources required to carry out the work associated with the proposal must be provided in writing upon the signature of the loan agreement for data.

  11. Investigator's Comments

    The investigator may provide additional comments or information to ensure that the proposal is properly understood and facilitate its evaluation.

4. Selection and Implementation of Projects

4.1 Selection Procedures

An evaluation review board, composed of CSA experts in SAR, will proceed with the evaluation of the proposals. The purpose of the review is to assess the technical merit, including the feasibility of the work plan, of the proposed projects and its applications in light of the objectives of the AO initiative.

The CSA will make the final decision concerning the selection of each project.

4.2 Evaluation Criteria

The proposals should demonstrate the following:

4.3 Implementation of Successful Proposals

After receiving notification that their proposal has been selected, the Proposers will be required to sign a loan agreement for the R2 data to be used. In the agreement they will confirm:

In addition, the Proposers will need to confirm acceptance of the terms and conditions for receiving the RCM data simulator toolbox.

5. Limitations and Obligations

5.1 Termination

CSA reserves the right to cancel all or part of the AO at any time, without any liability whatsoever. At present, there is intent to proceed with the AO as it is described herein; however, unforeseen events could force the termination of the initiative.

Under no circumstances will CSA be liable for any consequential, indirect, special, punitive, or incidental damages or lost profits, whether foreseeable or unforeseeable, based on claims of Proposers, their partners and/or end-users (including, but not limited to, claims for loss of data, goodwill, use of money or use of the product, interruption in use or availability of data, stoppage of other work or impairment of other assets), arising out of a breach of express or implied warranty or remedy, breach of contract, misrepresentation, negligence, strict liability in tort or otherwise, regardless of whether a limited remedy is deemed to fail its essential purpose.

5.2 Award

The CSA will loan products acquired by the R2 satellite (already processed images archived and available in the NEODF catalogue) (to be replaced soon by the EODMS) and access to the RCM data simulation toolbox executable to projects that are selected. Submission of a proposal does not guarantee its acceptance.

5.3 Data Suitability

CSA does not warrant the suitability of R2 data nor the simulated RCM products generated from the toolbox for any specific application. The CSA do not warrant that

  1. the simulated RCM data and products will meet the Proposer's or its partners' or end-users' requirements
  2. the data and products will operate in combinations selected for use by the Proposer's or its partners or end-users, or
  3. use of the data and products will be uninterrupted or error free.

The CSA provides the R2 data and the simulation toolbox "as-is," without warranty of any kind. All warranties, conditions, representations, indemnities and guarantees with respect to the data and product, whether express or implied, arising by law, custom, prior oral or written statements by the CSA or otherwise (including, but not limited to, any warranty of merchantability, satisfactory quality, fitness for particular purpose and non-infringement) are hereby overridden, excluded, and disclaimed.

The Proposers must be informed of SAR imaging capabilities and limitations as well as applicability for their specific projects.

5.4 Data Access

Processed R2 data will be accessible through the NEODF catalogue (to be replaced soon by the EODMS) operated by Natural Resources Canada. Data are subject to the End User Licensing Agreement accompanying the products.

A limited number of already simulated RCM products are available openly (no loan agreement required) on the CSA's FTP site.

Any other simulated products will need to be derived using the toolbox, from existing R2 data, by the proposers.

5.5 Resources Provided

All proposals must include an estimate of quantities of data scenes required, with the relationship between data needs and the objectives of the proposal clearly identified.

CSA will loan R2 products free of charge, to a maximum of 20 scenes, and provide the RCM data simulator toolbox executable (PC compatible only) to the projects that are selected.

5.6 Promotion of Project Results

In accordance with the objectives of the AO, the CSA intends to use the results to promote the RCM and the applications using the data it will produce. Proposers must agree to report on the results of their project and acknowledge the AO Initiative appropriately.

5.7 Option to Withdraw from the Initiative

Where a Proposer whose project was selected is no longer able or willing to complete the work involved in the project or publish its results, the Proposer may be required to

  1. purchase the R2 scenes at the commercial price, or
  2. return all related products and documents to the CSA.

By doing so, the Proposer will have to withdraw from the initiative and terminate its obligations under the AO.

5.8 Intellectual Property

Proposers should be aware that simulated RCM products are considered as R2 Derived Information Products (DIPs). All data sets shall be marked with the following statement:

Simulated RCM Data and Product derived from RADARSAT-2 © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. 200_ (year of acquisition) – All Rights Reserved.

The Proposers will hold the intellectual property resulting from the work on the project, and rights will be granted to the CSA to use the results for promotional purposes only.

Appendix A: RCM Modes

RCM Imaging Modes

Text version of image R2 beam modes

Credit: CSA

Mode Res.
m
Looks
rng x az
Swath Width
(accessible)
km
Nominal
NESZ
(dB)
Polarization Options
HH, VV, HV or VH VV or HH +HV HH+VV Compact HH+VV+
HV+VH
Low Resolution 100 m 100 8x1 500 (500) -22 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Medium Resolution 50 m 50 4x1 350 (600) -22 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Medium Resolution 30 m 30 2x2 125 (350) -24 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Medium Resolution 16 m 16 1x4 30 (350) -25 Yes Yes Yes Yes
High Resolution 5 m 5 1 30 (500) -19 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Very High Resolution 3 m 3@35o 1 20 (500) -17 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Low Noise 100 4x2 350 (600) -25 Yes Yes Yes
Ship Detection var. 5x1 350 (350) variable Yes Yes Yes
Spotlight 1 x 3@35o 1 20 (350)
[5 km in az]
-17 Yes Yes Yes
Quad-Polarization 9 1 20 (250) -24 Yes
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