Radarsat 1 has experienced a technical anomaly on orbit which may leave it permanently impaired.
As a result of the technical problem which occurred March 29, the spacecraft entered into “safe mode”, a semi-dormant state by which the spacecraft conserves energy. This provides the technical team at the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) time to investigate and assess any necessary remedial action.
The CSA says they will continue the investigation, but expectations of a full recovery are low. “This situation does not impact the security of Canadian borders, coasts and northern territories as RADARSAT-2 continues to provide critical, high-quality data. Government and commercial users of RADARSAT-1 have been advised that no new orders for imagery are being accepted, but that requests for archival images will continue to be processed.”
Launched in 1995, RADARSAT-1 is a great technological success story for the Canadian space sector and it has surpassed its expected lifetime by 12 years.
Developed and operated by the CSA, RADARSAT-1 monitors environmental changes and the planet’s natural resources and provides Canada and the world with an operational radar satellite system capable of the timely delivery of large amounts of data.
The sophisticated satellite is equipped with a powerful synthetic aperture radar instrument that acquires images of the Earth day-and-night, in all weather, through cloud cover, smoke and haze. As early as February 1996, it began providing information to government, scientists and commercial users in the fields of cartography, ice studies and observations, hydrology, oceanography, agriculture, forestry and disaster management. RADARSAT-1, originally conceived to function for five years, has far surpassed its design lifetime and is in its 18th year of operation.
SpaceRef will provide updates as new information becomes available.