RADARSAT-2: Mission Overview and Applications

Bernhard Rabus(1) and Gordon Staples(1)

(1) MDA, 13800 Commerce Parkway, Richmond, V7S 1L5, Canada


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.


Workshop presentation


  Higher level                 Last modified: 07.10.03