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Space Strategy for Canada

RADARSAT Constellation Mission

The RADARSAT Constellation is the evolution of the RADARSAT Program. It was developed through Government investments in Canada's world-leading capabilities in space-based Synthetic Aperture Radar. The three-satellite configuration will provide daily revisits of Canada's vast territory and maritime approaches, as well as daily access to 90 per cent of the world's surface. The RCM is designed to provide the data necessary to support government operations for three main applications: maritime surveillance, disaster management and ecosystem monitoring.

Delivering the Vision – Canada's Space Strategy (continued)


5 Ensure Canada's leadership in acquiring and using space-based data to support science excellence, innovation and economic growth


Unique data collected from Canada's space assets enable the Government to make evidence-based decisions that keep Canadians safe, monitor and protect our environment, support a range of economic sectors, and allow us to remain key partners in global security and defence networks. These data are also key to businesses that translate them into new and innovative applications, and they underpin cutting-edge science in Canada. Canada will ensure that our country remains a world leader in harnessing those data while creating the conditions for success for our downstream space firms and scientists by:

  1. Collecting climate change data: Canada counts on space-based assets to provide crucial data about how our climate is changing and how we can address and mitigate that change. Of the 50 Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) identified by the World Meteorological Organization to monitor climate change, 26 can only be observed effectively from space. The Government will actively explore the development of additional climate change science and monitoring missions to ensure the continued provision of those data.
  2. Prioritizing future Earth observation capabilities: Canada will soon launch a new "constellation" of satellites, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), that will provide unprecedented near-real-time data to allow for important evidence-based decision making in response to the changing climate and security threats. For example, the effects of climate change are increasingly evident in Canada with the rising number of floods, droughts, wildfires, as well as melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels; the full scope of these catastrophic events will be observed and monitored by the RCM. Over its life, the RCM will help increase our knowledge of climate processes and their impacts, and thus properly target our responses. Canada will need to continue to benefit from high-quality EO data, such as those provided by the RCM. The CSA and other government departments are therefore planning for data continuity beyond the expected lifespan of the RCM by launching concept studies to examine options for a successor solution.

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