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2008-01-24 Bookmark and Share To bloggers
First RADARSAT-2 images
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MDA Geospatial Services Inc. reported that first images have been delivered from the new generation RADARSAT-2 radar satellite, successfully launched on December 14, 2007. Each image is accompanied by a short annotation.

Greenland

This RADARSAT-2 Standard Quad-Pol image shows the northern end of the Sermilik fjord on the east coast of Greenland. The image was acquired December 18, 2007 four days after launch and is a composite of the three radar data channels (HH, VV, HV) displayed in a red-green-blue colour scheme. The scene is ~ 25 km x 50 km, with 25 m nominal resolution.

The Fenrisgletscher glacier a large, slow moving valley glacier that feeds into the Sermilik fjord - is visible in the upper right corner of the image. Glaciers in this area produce large volumes of icebergs that flow out to sea.

In the fjord, variations in colour represent different types of sea ice and leads (open water). The use of polarimetric data greatly improves ice edge detection and the identification of ice types as well as increasing ice topography and structural information. The information provided can be used for ship navigation, and land / sea ice studies (such as the position of glacier termini to support environmental monitoring).

This image was acquired early in the RADARSAT-2 commissioning phase.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

This RADARSAT-2 image of Vancouver Lower Mainland, was acquired January 6, 2008 using the Ultra-Fine beam mode, in HH polarization. The scene is ~ 20 km x 36 km, with 3 m resolution. The city of Vancouver is visible in the upper part of the image.

The three call-outs to the right of the image demonstrate the increased information content provided by high-resolution radar imaging. The top call-out shows five cargo ships in English Bay structural detail of the cargo holds is evident. The bright return from the stern is due to the strong radar response from the superstructure of the ship.

The middle call-out shows the increased detail available over the Vancouver Airport. The thin bright line feature coming in from the right hand side is the new rapid transit Canada Line currently under construction for the 2010 Olympics. More information can also be extracted from the airport terminal buildings and loading gates.

The bottom call-out shows the added detail provided by 3m imaging, which enables greater differentiation of the agriculture fields under different management practices and moisture conditions.

This image was acquired early in the commissioning phase, prior to any adjustment of the radar gain settings.

Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

In this RADARSAT-2 Fine Quad-Pol image, the community of Iqaluit can be seen on the northern shores of Koojesse inlet - an inlet of Frobisher Bay, southeast Baffin Island. The image was acquired January 7, 2008 and is a composite of the three radar data channels (HH, VV, HV) displayed in a red-green-blue colour scheme. The scene is ~25 km x 28 km, with 8m nominal resolution.

The Iqaluit airport runway is the dark linear feature located beside the community. For the most part, Frobisher Bay is ice-covered; however due to large tidal variations, areas of open water are visible along the shoreline as well as in the Bay. RADARSAT-2 is an excellent tool for monitoring leads and open water providing critical information for safety and navigational needs.

The land clearly shows the striations typical of glaciated terrain. High-resolution and polarimetric responses provide information for the detailed mapping of terrain features, surface structure and variations in surface topology.

This image was acquired early in the commissioning phase.

RADARSAT-2 is the product of the private-public partnership between the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA).
The new generation RADARSAT-2 radar satellite - a high resolution (3 m) apparatus with selective polarization and many other new features is aimed to eventually replace RADARSAT-1, launched back in 1995. Since 2004, ScanEx Center is the operator of the network of ground stations certified to receive RADARSAT-1 data in Russian and CIS countries. To date, 10 ground stations receive RADARSAT-1 data, 7 of which are certified and are part of the International RADARSAT data reception network. This network is unique and is the only one in Russia, easily upgradeable to receive RADARSAT-2 data.

Information source: www.radarsat2.info

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