RADARSAT-2: Mission Overview and Applications
Bernhard Rabus(1) and Gordon Staples(1)
13800 Commerce Parkway,
Richmond, V7S 1L5,
RADARSAT-2 incorporates a suite of advanced features including polarimetric
modes, a high resolution 3 m mode, and an enhanced ground system providing
rapid satellite tasking and near-real time data processing. RADARSAT-2
offers three polarimetric modes: (1) selective polarization (dual pol)
providing one co-pol channel (HH or VV) and the corresponding cross-pol
channel (HV); (2) high resolution (3 m) single pol channel (HH or VV or
HV); and (3) a fully polarimetric mode (quad pol) providing both amplitude
and phase. The fully polarimetric mode is significant since RADARSAT-2 is
the first commercial satellite to offer this mode.
MDA has initiated application development projects to understand the
potential and limitations of the RADARSAT-2 high resolution and
polarimetric modes. One important focus is on studying how to best exploit
existing synergies between polarimetric and interferometric SAR methods. An
overview of this development work is presented including applications for
maritime surveillance, defence, agriculture, ice, and mapping. Results are
based on CV-580 airborne SAR and SIR-C data.
The commercial focus of the RADARSAT-2 mission dictates the development of
operational applications, and ultimately the extraction of information from
the SAR data. An assessment of operational practicality of the RADARSAT-2
polarimetric modes is outlined.