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About access to data

The RCM system and its data are used first and foremost in support of Government of Canada services and needs.

Certain RCM image products are freely and openly available to users outside the Government of Canada, subject to exceptions in terms of security, privacy and confidentiality. The user profile (i.e. public or vetted user) defines the level of access to RCM image products.

Who can access image products

The public is able to access certain RCM image products.

How to become a user

To become a public user and access RCM image products, you need to register for an Earth Observation Data Management System (EODMS) account.

Public users from non-federal government organizations, industry and academia wishing to view RCM image products, over and above those available to the general public on the EODMS, can then apply to become vetted users. They have to go through a security screening process.

How to apply for a vetted user account

The Government of Canada is accepting applications for vetted user accounts from provincial and territorial governments, Canadian academia and other Canadian non-government entities, including industry. Since , applications are also open to international entities.

Vetted user accounts will be issued to the following points of contact, per organization:

The point of contact will usually be someone in a trusted role with knowledge of geospatial data. The designated point of contact will submit all image product access requests within EODMS, download and distribute image products within their organization, and fulfill the obligations set out in Appendix C of the application "Instructions to Points of Contact." The legal representative is someone within the organization who can legally sign and enter into an agreement on behalf of the organization.

To apply for a vetted user account, the point of contact must first complete this electronic form. Further instructions on how to complete the application package will follow once this form is submitted.

All applications will be reviewed by the CSA and/or Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Please note that as we are in the early phase of the vetting process, it is not possible to confirm any timeline for vetted user application approval. GAC is the ultimate authority on vetted user account acceptance.

For all questions regarding the application form, or regarding application status, please contact the CSA at

How to access image products

Public and vetted users can access RCM image products through the Earth Observation Data Management System (EODMS).

Available image products

Every user has access to the growing catalogue of image products through the Earth Observation Data Management System (EODMS). Their user profile (i.e. public or vetted user) determines which image products they are able to view and/or download.

Users can also view the RCM Standard Coverage Maps, which are provided every three months. The maps are technical and show the RCM image products that are available for the previous three-month period.

Note: Not all image products identified on the RCM Standard Coverage Maps are publically available. In the spring of , the general public's access was expanded to include complex products in addition to detected products. Access to 16-m resolution or coarser image products was also expanded to include international land, in addition to Canada's Arctic waters, northeast of Canada's Exclusive Economic Zone, Canada's landmass and inland waters for which the 16-m access was already granted. Access to world maritime is permitted with a 100-m resolution, while 50-m resolution is accessible over east Alaska and west Greenland.

Format of image products

RCM synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data will be made available in the form of image products in a format readable by common image processing computer software. They will be created from the raw data acquired by the system. These image products can be further processed into value-added products and be used to provide information services.

Acquisition plans

Plans showing past and future acquisitions of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission are available on the Federal Geospatial Platform. These plans can be downloaded or viewed as vectors: Acquisition plans of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission.

Ownership and acceptable uses

RCM image products are available free of charge, to the broadest extent possible, in order to promote the development of innovative products and services derived from SAR data.

The Government of Canada retains ownership of all RCM data and image products. Intellectual property rights to value-added products (VAPs) created from the RCM image products will remain with the creator of the VAP.

Acceptable uses of RCM image products are set out in the User Licence Agreement, which is provided with each RCM image product.


For questions about the data policy or how to become a user, contact us at

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