blue arrow Mission Overview


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 Inclination 98.6 degrees
Orbit Altitude RADARSAT-1: 793-821 km
RADARSAT-2: 798 km
Orbit Duration 100.7 min
Orbit Type Sun-synchronous (14 orbits per day)
Descending node 6 hours
Ascending node 18 hours
Repeat cycle 24 days

blue arrow Mission 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.

blue arrow 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
Polarisation HH; HV; VH; VV; HH+HV; VV+VH; HH+VV+HV+VH
Spatial resolution of data 1 - 100 metres
Swath widths 18 - 500 km
Imaging frequency RADARSAT-1: C-band at 5.3 GHz
RADARSAT-2: C-band at 5.405 GHz

blue arrow Data

blue arrow DATA DOWNLOAD

Download data from the RADARSAT-2 mission through the ESA TPM Online Dissemination system. The data is freely available to registered EO-SSO users.


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:

  • RADARSAT-2 ESA archive: RADARSAT-2 products that ESA collected over the years. The dataset regularly grows as ESA collects new products.

blue arrow DATA TOOLS

RADARSAT-2 data can be processed using the PolSARpro tool. 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