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Norway and Canada Continue Earth Observation Co-operation with Radarsat-2 Program

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2003

The Norwegian Space Centre (NSC), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Natural Resources Canada, announced a long-term agreement to continue their collaboration in radar-based Earth observation.

With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding among the three organizations and the signing of agreements between the major commercial partners in Canada and Norway, a seamless transition between the RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 programs for Norway is assured.

"By signing this agreement with Norway, the Government of Canada is reaffirming its commitment to supporting the Canadian space industry and building on our expertise in Earth observation," said Industry Minister Allan Rock. "With its leading-edge instruments, the RADARSAT-2 satellite will help us monitor and protect the Earth."

Since the 1980s, Norway has pioneered the development of SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) applications for ship detection and oil pollution detection, and has been involved in the development of algorithms and processor technology for near real time processing of SAR data through the work of NSC, Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) and Kongsberg Spacetec (KSPT).

Canada is a world leader in SAR technology. The nation's successful RADARSAT-1 program has provided a strong foundation for this work through the CSA and the program's commercial partners MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) and RADARSAT International (RSI). The Norwegian Space Centre was instrumental in establishing reception of Radarsat-1 data at the Troms» Satellite Station in 1996. The data has been used for operational ocean monitoring, ship detection and oil pollution detection.

As part of this overall collaboration, NSC has agreed to invest $15 million (CDN) in order to get access to RADARSAT-2 data from RSI for national and commercial use.

As the prime contractor and owner/operator of RADARSAT-2, MDA will work with Kongsberg Spacetec to enable Spacetec's current customers to use SAR data from RADARSAT-2. They will jointly develop the necessary adaptations to the RADARSAT-1 processing systems required for RADARSAT-2. This cooperation will ensure that Kongsberg Spacetec can continue to support its current customer base, and provide a smooth transition to the RADARSAT-2 program.

In addition, RSI and KSAT have entered into an agreement for the commercial utilization of the data. This agreement covers data reception at the KSAT facilities in Troms» and Svalbard, rights for distribution of data in Scandinavia and the Baltic states and worldwide rights for distribution of derived information. KSAT was the first organization to enter into a reception and distribution agreement for RADARSAT-1, and this latest agreement will ensure reception of RADARSAT-2 and continuous data supply to KSAT's growing customer base.

About Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada's Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) was established in 1971. CCRS is responsible for the acquisition of Earth observation data, and for the development of remote sensing applications and related methodologies and systems. A division of Natural Resources Canada, CCRS plays an important and unique role in the international realms of remote sensing. In conjunction with the private sector, CCRS promotes the development of remote sensing technology and applications. The CCRS ensures that remote sensing is strategically applied, to better understand the Earth, the environment and the human impact upon them over time. (www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca)

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its headquarters situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Space Technology; Space Qualification Services; Space Awareness and Education. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity. (www.space.gc.ca)

About Radarsat International (RSI) RSI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (TSX: MDA - www.mda.ca), is worldwide provider of products and information solutions derived from Earth Observation (EO) satellite data.

For more information:

Per Torbo
Information Director,
Norwegian Space Centre
Tel: + 47 2251 1817
Per.torbo@spacecentre.no
www.spacecentre.no

Monique Billette
Media Relations
Canadian Space Agency
Tel: +1-450-926-4370
monique.billette@space.gc.ca
www.space.gc.ca

Willy Bruce
Communications
Natural Resources Canada
Tel: +1-613-996-2648
Willy.bruce@ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca
www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca

Kate Pilgrim
Communications
Radarsat International
Tel: +1-604-231-4988
kpligrim@rsi.ca
www.rsi.ca

Jan Petter Pedersen,
Vice President,
Strategic Business Development,
Kongsberg Satellite Services,
Tel:+47 77 60 02 50
janp@ksat.no
Bj»rn Kanck,
President,
Kongsberg Spacetec,
Tel: +47 77 60 80 00
bjorn@spacetec.no

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