New RADARSAT-2 Applications Assessing Environmental Impact, Climate Change Issues

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2004

image The evolving field of Earth Observation from space took an important leap forward today as the Canadian Space Agency awarded 18 contracts to Canadian companies for the development of applications in preparation for RADARSAT-2 satellite data. These specialized applications are responding to existing and emerging environmental issues worldwide. Thirteen companies will develop these projects through funding provided by the Earth Observation Application Development Program.

"The Canadian space industry's invaluable leadership in Earth Observation applications and research illustrates our nation's commitment to better understanding and interpreting our environment through emerging science and technology," said Lucienne Robillard, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for the Regions of Quebec and the Canadian Space Agency.

New applications are being developed in preparation for RADARSAT-2 data, allowing Canadian researchers to attempt to chart mosquito habitats and aid the eradication of malaria and develop soil moisture maps to mitigate drought and pest outbreaks. Other areas benefiting from these advanced space-borne applications include hydroelectric power management, port surveillance, pollution control, ice behaviour, wetlands mapping and ecosystem preservation.

"Through these new Earth Observation applications, designed to use the enhanced capabilities of RADARSAT-2, these innovative Canadian companies are driving research that will greatly improve the daily lives of millions of people throughout the world," said Marc Garneau, President of the Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian Space Agency is partnering with companies across the country, contributing more than $2.1 million to the realisation of these 18 projects, whose total costs are estimated at $3.3 million.

Canada's RADARSAT-2 satellite, scheduled for launch in late 2005, incorporates state-of-the-art technology that will provide data continuity with RADARSAT-1 and will be the most advanced commercially available radar imagery in the world. The RADARSAT-2 satellite program is a partnership between the Canadian Space Agency and MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates of Richmond, B.C. For more information, please visit the CSA website.

The Earth Observation Application Development Program is the Canadian Space Agency's primary vehicle to support the development of Earth Observation applications through industry. To learn more about the program, please visit the CSA website.


For more detailed information on the contracts awarded today, please consult the attached backgrounders.

For more information, please contact:

Monique Billette
Senior Media Relations Officer
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: (450) 926-4370

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