Encyclopedia Astronautica
Radarsat



wradarsa.jpg
Radarsat
Credit: CSA
Canadian earth resources radar satellite. Two launches, 1995.11.04 (Radarsat) and 2007.12.14 (Radarsat). Canada's Radarsat was a radar satellite featuring variable resolution, and different view angles at a number of preset positions.

This sophisticated remote sensing satellite was a Canadian-led project involving the United States. It carried a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), a powerful microwave instrument that could transmit and receive signals to "see" through clouds and darkness, obtaining detailed images of the Earth. This would provide significant advantages in viewing under conditions that precluded observation by aircraft or optical satellites. RADARSAT collected data on resource management, ice, ocean and environmental monitoring and Arctic and off-shore surveillance. RADARSAT also supported fishing, shipping, oil exploration, offshore drilling and ocean research. The RADARSAT would provide complete global coverage with the flexibility to support specific requirements.

The spacecraft solar array provided 2.1 kW of power and recharged three NiCd batteries rated at 48 Ah. On the cube shaped bus was mounted the earth facing SAR antenna measuring 15 meters across. Using a single 5.3 GHz C-Band SAR with a wavelength of 5.6 cm, Radarsat had the unique ability to shape and steer its beam over a 500 kilometer range. Beam selections could image swaths from 35 kilometers to 500 kilometers with resolutions from 10 meters to 100 meters respectively. Incidence angles ranged from less than 20 degrees to 60 degrees via a steerable antenna. The RF bandwidth of the system varied between 1.6, 17.3 or 30.0 Mhz, with a peak transmitter peak of 5kW. The maximum data rate was 85 Mb/s (recorded) or 105 Mb/s (in real time).

The project had a total cost of $ 475 million. Ball receieved a contract in 1989 for the satellite frame valued at $ 55 million.

Gross mass: 2,713 kg (5,981 lb).
Height: 1.50 m (4.90 ft).
Span: 15.00 m (49.00 ft).
First Launch: 1995.11.04.
Last Launch: 2007.12.14.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...
  • Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
  • Delta 2 7000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 7000 series used GEM-40 strap-ons with the Extra Extended Long Tank core, further upgraded with the RS-27A engine. More...
  • Delta 7920-X Three stage vehicle consisting of 9 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K with 3.05 m (10 foot) diameter fairing More...
  • Soyuz FG Uprated Soyuz booster designed for high performance Russian government missions and delivery of Soyuz and Progress spacecraft to the International Space Station. Upgraded engines, modern avionics, reduced non-Russian content. Unknown differences to Soyuz ST. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CSA Canadian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Canadian Space Agency, Canada. More...
  • Spar Canadian manufacturer of spacecraft. Spar Aerospace, Canada. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

Radarsat Chronology


1995 November 4 - . 14:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7920-X. LV Configuration: Delta 7920-10 D229.
  • Radarsat - . Mass: 2,713 kg (5,981 lb). Nation: Canada. Agency: CSA. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources radar satellite. Spacecraft: Radarsat. USAF Sat Cat: 23710 . COSPAR: 1995-059A. Apogee: 793 km (492 mi). Perigee: 791 km (491 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. Summary: Earth imaging with synthetic aperture radar..

2007 December 14 - . 13:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz FG. LV Configuration: Soyuz-FG/Fregat Ts15000-025.
  • Radarsat-2 - . Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: Canada. Agency: Starsem. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft: Radarsat. USAF Sat Cat: 32382 . COSPAR: 2007-061A. Apogee: 793 km (492 mi). Perigee: 791 km (491 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. Follow-on to Canadian Radarsat-1 launched in 1995. Designed to provide C-band synthetic aperture radar mapping with resolution of 3 m to Canadian government users. Compared to the earlier model had greater resolution, vastly increased on-board data storage capacity, and capability to scan left or right of ground track. Planned lifetime of seven years.

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