Canada Signs Charter - RADARSAT-1 Increasing Support for Disaster Relief Agencies

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Friday, October 20, 2000

Paris, October 20, 2000 - Building on a commitment made at the third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (Unispace III), yesterday, Mac Evans, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) joined Antonio RodotÓ, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) and GÚrard Brachet, Director General of the French Space Agency (CNES) in the signing of the Charter on Disaster Management at the ESA Headquarters in Paris.

"The Charter on Disaster Management", said Mac Evans, President of the Canadian Space Agency, " is a far-reaching humanitarian initiative that will lead to the coordination and global positioning of space resources, such as Canada's renowned RADARSAT-1, providing timely and critical imaging to agencies directing rescue and relief efforts in times of natural and technological disasters"

"Cooperation with Canada", said Antonio RodotÓ, ESA Director General "is allowing us to draw on our collective strengths, knowledge and expertise, to pilot leading-edge research, technology and space-based initiatives that have the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of all our citizens."

The objectives of the Charter are to strengthen international cooperation by opening membership to all satellite operators around the world and to foster the development of a coordinated global response to requests for assistance from rescue and relief organizations. The Canadian Space Agency will deploy its RADARSAT-1 Earth Observation satellite, which has the ability, day-or-night, to pierce through the clouds capturing the high quality images required by relief agencies and organizations providing disaster assistance on the ground.

In the coming months, the Charter signatories will develop principles and operational procedures and actively promote the Disaster Management service to ensure urgent requests for satellite imaging are met with an efficient and effective response.


Earth Observation has been a cornerstone of the Canadian Space Program since the very beginning. Launched in November 1995, RADARSAT-1 has collected nearly 100,000 images providing an historical record of the Earth's environment. Demonstrating its ability to provide timely and critical data to assist disaster relief and emergency rescue efforts, as well as, for renewable and non-renewable resource mapping, RADARSAT-1 has also proven its worth to scientists and commercial users in the fields of agriculture, cartography, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, ice studies, mineral and oil exploration. In cooperation with RADARSAT International and other partners, RADARSAT-1 has already produced mosaics of Antarctica, Canada, and most recently the United States, with the mapping of Africa expected to be completed in 2001.

RADARSAT-2, Canada's next generation Earth Observation satellite, currently under construction by MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates and scheduled for launch in early 2003, will further increase Canada's ability to provide precise imaging to meet the evolving needs of clients while fulfilling its Charter commitment to relief agencies and disaster management organizations.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989, with its headquarters located in Saint Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency ensures that Canadians in all regions learn and benefit from the development and application of space knowledge, science and technology. The Canadian Space Agency supports and promotes a highly competitive space industry, contributes to the sustainable development of Canada and the world, and fosters initiatives to increase awareness of the Canadian Space Program throughout the world.

With almost half of Canada's GDP growth in the knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy, the Canadian Space Program is a key driver behind continued leadership on the world stage. Based on extensive and open consultation with Canadian stakeholders, opportunities were identified for potential cooperation with international partners in the areas of: Earth Observation, Space Science, Human Presence in Space, Satellite Communications and in the development of Generic Space Technologies. Canadian participation in these key sectors are providing new opportunities for industry and scientists, and long-term social and economic benefits for all Canadians.

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For more information:
Anna Kapiniari
Manager, Public relation and media
Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4350

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