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What is RADARSAT-1

Status: Inactive

Open data: over 710,000 historical RADARSAT-1 satellite images of the Earth now available to the public. Learn more about the RADARSAT-1 data.

Launched in , RADARSAT-1 provided Canada and the world with an operational radar satellite system capable of timely delivery of large amounts of data. Equipped with a powerful synthetic aperture radar (SAR) instrument, it acquired images of the Earth day or night, in all weather and through cloud cover, smoke and haze.

RADARSAT-1 was a Canadian-led project involving the Canadian federal government, the Canadian provinces, the United States, and the private sector. It provided useful information to both commercial and scientific users in such fields as disaster management, interferometry, agriculture, cartography, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, ice studies and coastal monitoring.

The need for Earth observation data

As the second largest country in the world, with a variety of landscapes and climatic conditions, Canada recognized the practical and economic benefits of using space for Earth observation early on. With global environmental monitoring and protection being a worldwide concern, Earth observation is a key priority of the Canadian Space Program, and RADARSAT-1 was developed as Canada's flagship to pursue this priority.

RADARSAT-1 has proven to be an invaluable source of Earth observation data. The satellite's images were used internationally to manage and monitor the Earth's resources and to monitor global climate change, as well as in many other commercial and scientific applications. RADARSAT-1 was ideally suited to supporting these tasks because of its wide range of beams, SAR technology, frequent revisit period, high-quality products and fast, efficient delivery.

Canada is now a world leader in the processing of satellite remote sensing data, thanks in part to RADARSAT-1.

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