Spaceborne SAR remote sensing took a giant leap forward with the launch of the RADARSAT satellite in 1995.
Table of RADARSAT-1 Tech Specs
Table of RADARSAT-2 Tech Specs

RADARSAT-1

Spaceborne SAR remote sensing took a giant leap forward with the launch of the RADARSAT satellite in 1995. The RADARSAT project, led by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), was built on the development of remote sensing technologies and applications work carried out by the Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS).

RADARSAT carries an advanced C-band (5.6 cm), HH-polarized SAR with a steerable radar beam. Imaging swaths can be varied from 50 to 500 km in width, with resolutions from 8 to 100 metres. Viewing geometry is also flexible, with incidence angles ranging from less than 20 degrees to more than 50 degrees. Although the satellite’s orbit repeat cycle is 24 days, the flexibility of the steerable radar beam gives RADARSAT the ability to image regions much more frequently and to address specific geographic requests for data acquisition. RADARSAT-1’s orbit is optimised for frequent coverage of mid-latitude to polar regions and even at equatorial latitudes, complete coverage can be obtained within six days.

RADARSAT-1 can be captured in both descending mode during the local day and ascending mode during the local night.

Table of RADARSAT-1 Tech Specs

RADARSAT-1 imagery © RADARSAT International

RADARSAT-2

RADARSAT-2, Canada's next generation commercial SAR satellite, was launched in 2007 and constructed under a collaboration between the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd (MDA).

RADARSAT-2 carries an advanced C-band (5.405 cm), HH-, HV-, and VV-polarized SAR with a steerable radar beam. Imaging swathes vary from 20 km (Ultra-Fine) to 500 km (ScanSAR Wide) and resolutions vary from 3 to 100 metres. RADARSAT-2 is separated by half an orbit (12 days) from RADARSAT-1.

Like RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2 can be captured in both descending mode during the local day and ascending mode during the local night.

RADARSAT-2 imagery © CSA/MDA

Table of RADARSAT-2 Tech Specs


RADARSAT-1 Tech Specs

Modes Fine
Standard
Wide
ScanSAR Narrow
ScanSAR Wide
Extended High Incidence
Extended Low Incidence
Nominal Resolution Fine: 8m
Standard: 25m
Wide: 30m
ScanSAR Narrow: 50m
ScanSAR Wide: 100m
Extended High Incidence: 25m
Extended Low Incidence: 30m
Swath width Fine: 50km
Standard: 100km
Wide: 150km
ScanSAR Narrow: 300km
ScanSAR Wide: 500km
Extended High Incidence: 75km
Extended Low Incidence: 170km
Band C-Band
Polarisation HH
Nominal Look Direction Right
Incidence Angle Fine: 37-48 degrees
Standard: 20-49 degrees
Wide: 20-45 degrees
ScanSAR Narrow: 20-46 degrees
ScanSAR Wide: 20-49 degrees
Extended High Incidence: 40-59 degrees
Extended Low Incidence: 10-23 degrees
Applications Land use and planning 
Infrastructure planning
Environmental assessment
Mapping /Surveying
Utility corridor mapping
Mining and Exploration
Oil and Gas
Agriculture
DEM generation  (InSAR)
Subsidence mapping (DInSAR/PSIsnSAR)
Hydrology
Geology

RADARSAT-2 Tech Specs

Modes Spotlight
Ultra Fine
Multi-Look Fine
Fine
Standard
Wide
ScanSAR Narrow
ScanSAR Wide
Extended High Incidence
Extended Low Incidence
Fine Quad-Polarisation
Standard Quad-Polarisation
Nominal Resolution Spotlight: 3m
Ultra Fine: 3m
Multi-Look Fine: 8m
Fine: 8m
Standard: 30m
Wide: 30m
ScanSAR Narrow: 50m
ScanSAR Wide: 100m
Extended High Incidence: 18-27m
Extended Low Incidence: 30m
Fine Quad-Polarisation: 8m
Standard Quad-Polarisation:30m
Swath width Spotlight: 8km
Ultra Fine: 20km
Multi-Look Fine: 50km
Fine: 50km
Standard: 100km
Wide: 150km
ScanSAR Narrow: 300km
ScanSAR Wide: 500km
Extended High Incidence: 75km
Extended Low Incidence: 170km
Fine Quad-Polarisation: 25km
Standard Quad-Polarisation: 25km
Band C-Band
Polarisation Spotlight: HH or HV or VH or VV (single)
Ultra Fine: HH or HV or VH or VV (single)
Multi-Look Fine: HH or HV or VH or VV (single)
Fine (Single): HH or HV or VH or VV
Fine (Dual): HH + HV or VH + VV
Standard (Single): HH or HV or VH or VV
Standard (Dual): HH + HV or VH + VV
Wide (Single): HH or HV or VH or VV
Wide (Dual): HH + HV or VH + VV
ScanSAR Narrow (Single): HH or HV or VH or VV
ScanSAR Narrow (Dual): HH + HV or VH + VV
ScanSAR Wide (Single): HH or HV or VH or VV
ScanSAR Wide (Single): HH + HV or VH + VV
Extended High Incidence: HH
Extended Low Incidence: HH
Fine Quad-Polarisation: HH+HV+VH+VV
Standard Quad-Polarisation: HH+HV+VH+VV
Nominal Look Direction Left and Right
Incidence Angle Spotlight: 20-59 degrees
Ultra Fine: 20-59 degrees
Multi-Look Fine: 30-50 degrees
Fine: 37-47 degrees
Standard: 24-49 degrees
Wide: 20-45 degrees
ScanSAR Narrow: 20-46 degrees
ScanSAR Wide: 20-46 degrees
Extended High Incidence: 49-60 degrees
Extended Low Incidence: 10-23 degrees
Fine Quad-Polarisation: 18-49 degrees
Standard Quad-Polarisation: 18-49 degrees
Applications Land use and planning 
Infrastructure planning
Environmental assessment
Mapping /Surveying
Utility corridor mapping
Mining and Exploration
Oil and Gas
Agriculture
DEM generation  (InSAR)
Subsidence mapping (DInSAR/PSIsnSAR)
Hydrology
Geology

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