Canadian Space Agency Issues Call for Ideas for Synthetic Aperture Radar Concept Focused on Terrestrial Snow Mass

This is a Mosaic of Canada which is made from 121 images captured by Canadian satellite RADARSAT-2. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian Space Agency recently issued a Call for Ideas for science and application opportunities for a dual-frequency Ku-band synthetic aperture radar concept focused on Terrestrial Snow Mass.

In the Call for Ideas the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) states that they have “completed the Phase 0 development for a moderate-resolution, dual-frequency Ku-band (13.5; 17.25 GHz) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite concept. The initiative responds to a need identified by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to increase Canada’s capability to monitor snow water equivalent (SWE) over the Northern Hemisphere. The primary mission objective is to quantify the spatially and temporally dynamic amount of freshwater stored in seasonal terrestrial snow (the SWE); through data assimilation, improve the treatment of snow in operational environmental prediction systems and thereby enhance numerical weather prediction, hydrological forecasting, and seasonal prediction.”

In the Motivation section, the CSA states “Should this dual Ku-band SAR concept be fully realized, the CSA would be interested in maximizing the science and socio-economical return on this mission. Notably, the SAR frequencies are a novel element of the mission that no other satellites historically or currently provide, which may enable new opportunities including the primary mission objectives. As such, the CSA would be interested in capturing the interest from the Canadian scientific community to pursue pre- and post-launch research investigations, including data validation activities, and innovative satellite data solutions development to help meet various needs in our everyday lives.”

“In the spirit of Reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in recognition of the value and importance of the science, technology and ways of knowing of Indigenous Peoples, the CSA is interested in hearing from Indigenous Peoples, who may wish to contribute Indigenous science or traditional knowledge through this Call for Ideas.”

The Terrestrial Snow Mass idea is something the CSA has been exploring for sometime with a request for proposal dating back as far as 2016. In 2019 MDA won a Priority Technology award for the concept. In 2021 The CSA commissioned a report on the socioeconomic benefits of three water-related Earth observation missions which included Terrestrial Snow Mass concept. And in 2022 the CSA released Resourceful, Resilient, Ready, a new Earth observation strategy.

The eligibility is pretty wide open with the CSA stating “Any Canadian, Indigenous or International organization, industry, academic institution, government or non-government agency, or consortium, can submit a response to this Call for ideas.” The application deadline is July 14, 2024 by midnight (ET).

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and Executive Vice President, Content of SpaceNews. Boucher has 25+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

Leave a Reply