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The RADARSAT programme consists of a pair of remote sensing satellites from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA):

RADARSAT-1 was an Earth-imaging radar satellite which CSA launched on 04 November 1995 and was decomissioned on 29 March 2013.

RADARSAT-2 is an Earth-imaging radar satellite which CSA and MDA (MacDonald Dettwiler Associates Ltd. of Richmond, BC) launched on 14 December 2007 and remains operational.

RADARSAT-1 and 2 Mission Specifications
Orbit Inclination98.6 degrees
Orbit AltitudeRADARSAT-1: 793-821 km
RADARSAT-2: 798 km
Orbit Duration100.7 min
Orbit TypeSun-synchronous (14 orbits per day)
Descending Node6 hours
Ascending Node18 hours
Repeat Cycle24 days

RADARSAT Objectives

The aim of the RADARSAT missions is provide 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.

RADARSAT Instruments

A Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor is the primary payload of RADARSAT-1 and 2. The SAR can image Earth at a single microwave frequency of 5.3 GHz, in the C band (wavelength of 5.6 cm). This enables images of Earth to be acquired day or night, in any atmospheric condition, such as cloud cover, rain, snow, dust or haze.

RADARSAT SAR Instrument Specifications
PolarisationHH; HV; VH; VV; HH+HV; VV+VH; HH+VV+HV+VH
Spatial resolution of data1 - 100 metres
Swath Widths18 - 500 km
Imaging FrequencyRADARSAT-1: C-band at 5.3 GHz
RADARSAT-2: C-band at 5.405 GHz



ESA, in collaboration with MDA, is offering free access to RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 data for research and development, both archived and new acquisitions for the following modes:

  • ScanSAR Wide and Narrow (Single or Dual Pol)
  • Wide (Single or Dual Pol)
  • Fine (Single or Dual Pol)
  • Standard (Single or Dual Pol)
  • Extended High and Low (Single Pol)

ESA will support as many high-quality and innovative projects as possible within the quota limit available therefore only a limited amount of products can be made available to each project.

Learn more about the RADARSAT products in the following product descriptions:

ESA also offers access through the Online Dissemination server to the following data collections for registered users:


A number of tools are available for visualising, processing and analysing RADARSAT data.


PolSARpro (Polarimetric SAR data Processing and Education) supports the scientific exploitation of polarimetric SAR data and is a tool for high-level education in radar polarimetry.

Read more



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