In a Tweet yesterday the Canadian Space Agency announced that the $1 billion program that is the RADARSAT Constellation Mission is now fully operational.
The trio of Earth Observation satellites that form the government owned RADARSAT Constellation Mission were launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 on June 12. Less than three weeks later the first public image was released.
Since then prime contractor MDA along with its subcontractors, including Magellan Aerospace, have been working with the Canadian Space Agency to bring the three spacecraft online and testing all of their systems. The spacecraft were also moved into their operational orbits.
The primary instrument of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission is a Synthetic Aperture Radar. The satellites are used for civil and defence purposes including:
- Maritime surveillance (ice, surface wind, oil pollution and ship monitoring);
- Disaster management (mitigation, warning, response and recovery); and
- Ecosystem monitoring (agriculture, wetlands, forestry and coastal change monitoring).
The operational lifespan of the trio of satellites is seven years but it is hoped the satellites will continue their mission well beyond the official expiry date as many satellites do.
The government is also considering adding more satellites to the RADARSAT Constellation Mission.