New Space and Tech

The Defence and Security Applications of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission

By Marc Boucher
April 6, 2013
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The Defence and Security Applications of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission

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By Eric Choi: On January 9, 2013, the Federal Government announced it will proceed with the implementation phase of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM). Initially conceived almost a decade ago, the long-awaited announcement meant that the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and its partners in government and industry can finally complete one of the most important Canadian space projects of this decade.

Scheduled for launch later this decade, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission will serve the operational needs of Canadian Government departments in the areas of maritime surveillance, disaster management and ecosystem monitoring. It will consist of three satellites spaced equally apart in a single orbital plane at a mean altitude of 600 km. By distributing capabilities across several smaller satellites, the system will be more robust and flexible with improved coverage and target revisit capabilities. Combined with the inherent ability of SAR to produce images day or night through clouds or haze, the utility of RCM to support both civilian and military applications is obvious, particularly with respect to oceans and the North.

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