RADARSAT-1 Data Set of 36,500 Images Released to the Public

Artist's concept of the path RADARSAT-1 follows while over Canada. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian Space Agency and the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation today announced that 36,500 images collected by the RADARSAT-1 satellite are now available on the Earth Observation Data Management System.

The images are being released under the Canadian Open Government initiative whereby users are encouraged to mine the data for research purposes or to create new products.

According to the Canadian Space Agency, the historical freely available data “is valuable for testing and developing techniques to reveal patterns, trends and associations that researchers may have missed when RADARSAT-1 was in operation. Access to these images will allow Canadians to make comparisons over time, for example, of sea ice cover, forest growth or deforestation, seasonal changes and the effects of climate change, particularly in Canada’s North.”

Here are some Quick Facts provided by the government;

  • RADARSAT-1 launched in November 1995. It operated for 17 years, well over its five-year life expectancy, during which it orbited Earth 90,828 times, travelling over 2 billion kilometres. It was Canada’s first Earth observation satellite.
  • RADARSAT-1 images supported relief operations in 244 disaster events.
  • Users can download these images through the Earth Observation Data Management System of the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation, a division of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). NRCan is responsible for the long-term archiving and distribution of the images as well as downlinking of satellite data at its ground stations.

Éric Laliberté, Director General, Space Utilization, Canadian Space Agency said “science data from space allows us to better see and understand our planet. The Canadian Space Agency is encouraging researchers, industry and all Canadians to develop creative applications using this data; applications that will improve our lives on Earth and advance our knowledge of the issues impacting our planet. We intend to make even more RADARSAT-1 available imagery in the future. Canada is a leader in Earth observation from space, and RADARSAT data has been critical to better understanding our country and our world.”

Prashant Shukle, Director General, Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation, Natural Resources Canada said “we are proud to be involved in such a historical moment in Canada’s Open Data movement. This Natural Resources Canada, CSA, private sector collaboration to release over 36,000 RADARSAT-1 images through our new state-of-the-art Earth Observation Data Management System will provide coast-to-coast-to-coast baseline data to all Canadians. Among other applications, RADARSAT-1 images will support monitoring and measuring cumulative effects of changes to Canada’s lands and waters, strengthen environmental assessments, and improve disaster mitigation.”

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactice Inc. Boucher has 20 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 27 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.