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On November 4, 1995, the Canadian commercial satellite Radarsat-1 began operating in orbit. Radarsat-1 became the world's first commercial synthetic aperture radar, which led to a steady demand for radar images. Currently, only archived Radarsat-1 data is available. It was succeeded on December 14, 2007 by the Radarsat-2 radar satellite.

Technical characteristics of Radarsat-1 spacecraft

Name of the spacecraft
Canadian Space Agency
MDA’s Geospatial Services International
Launch date
Orbit altitude range, km 783 - 787
Power, W
The mass of spacecraft, kg

The Radarsat-1 satellite is equipped with multi-functional radar with a synthesized aperture, which allows all-weather shooting with a resolution of 8-100 m in the field of view from 50 to 500 km. The unique properties of radar photography are its independence from natural light (i.e., the time of day and year) and cloud cover, which is transparent for it.

Shooting modes and types of commercial products

Shooting mode Fine Vide Standart Extended ScanSar-W ScanSar-N
Resolution, m
9×9 28×25 28×25 28×23 50×50 100×100
Shooting bandwidth, km
50 75 100 150 300 500
Wavelength, cm
5,6 (c-band)
File format
Radiometric, sensory and geometric correction, reduction to a map projection
The frequency of shooting
8 days
Minimum order area
One standard scene for any of the modes
Product delivery
Direct transfer; on-Line FTP; Courier on DVD

Radarsat-1 has long been the world's most advanced commercial satellite, specifically designed to capture terrain for the benefit of a wide range of users.

Main directions of using data obtained by Radarsat-1 spacecraft:

Global all-weather, regardless of the time of day, monitoring of the state of the ice cover, vegetation, the degree of destruction in areas of natural disasters, geological exploration, forestry, coastal zone research and Oceanology, monitoring of oil spills, monitoring of flood areas.

In addition, radar images can identify moving objects, determine the speed and direction of their movement, as well as get information about the height of the terrain being probed and its displacement under the influence of various factors. Space radar also helps in observing objects hidden by vegetation and located in the surface layer of the earth or in the coastal zone of reservoirs (buried pipelines, communication lines, power lines, etc.)

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