RADARSAT-1 Celebrates Ten Years in Space

Richmond, BC - On November 4th 2005, Canada's RADARSAT-1 satellite celebrates its tenth anniversary in space. As the world's first commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite, the RADARSAT-1 programme and its worldwide network of partners set the standards for reliability, responsiveness, operational efficiency and customer service.

One of the cornerstones of the programme is the emergency programming service, coupled with near-real time data processing and delivery. These services have proven invaluable in supporting time-critical operations such as disaster management, ice mapping for ship routing, pollution monitoring and ship surveillance.

Over the 10-year period, RADARSAT-1 data has also been used to advance numerous applications such as ice, agriculture, oil and gas exploration, cartography and coastal monitoring. The improved understanding of radar applications has led to the development of products that serve the information and operational needs of end users.

"The RADARSAT-1 mission is a huge success and the consistent high system performance of the satellite (rated at 96%) has enabled us to supply a global community of users with valuable information about the world around us," said John Hornsby, General Manager of MDA's Geospatial Services International (previously known as RADARSAT International).

Dr. Hornsby continued, "The support and dedication of our international network of over 80 distributors, 28 network stations and the Canadian Space Agency have helped position us as one of the world's top Earth observation data and information suppliers."

In 2006, RADARSAT-2 will be launched and the RADARSAT legacy will continue. The key benefits of the new satellite are unparalleled imaging flexibility, dual polarization and full polarimetric imaging options, high-resolution and a highly responsive programming and delivery ground segment.

Background Information:

In 1994, the Canadian Government established its Long-Term Space Plan - with the RADARSAT-1 satellite being a main element of the plan. RADARSAT-1 was launched on November 4, 1995 and is fully owned and operated by the Canadian government.

The RADARSAT-1 program is a joint venture involving both the public and private Canadian sectors. The public sector includes the Canadian Space Agency, the Federal Government, and four Provincial Governments (Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia).

The information supplied by RADARSAT-1 supports commercial and scientific users in such fields as disaster management, interferometry, agriculture, cartography, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, ice studies and coastal monitoring.

RADARSAT-1 Milestones:

RADARSAT-1 has imaged over 58 billion sq. km (this would translate into imaging the entire Earth 115 times!)
RADARSAT-1 has completed over 52,000 orbits
The satellite has achieved 96% system performance over the last 10 years
Today, the image quality and performance of the system remain better than the original specifications
Over 3,800 scenes per year are delivered in under 90 minutes to the Canadian Ice Services for operational purposes
RADARSAT-1 has been used in support of disasters worldwide (most recently Hurricanes Wilma, Rita, Katrina in the U.S., landslides in Pakistan and flooding in S. E. Asia)
RADARSAT-1 was used in the first ever multi-mode (resolution) systematic image collection of the entire globe
RADARSAT-1 data was used to produce the first high-resolution mosaic of Antarctica (the Antarctic Mapping Mission (AMM-1) in 1997) - which led to the discovery of new ice stream systems and extensive mega-snow dune fields
A second AMM in 2000 collected InSAR data in 8m resolution, allowing for the first large-scale measurements of ice sheet surface velocity
In celebration of this special milestone, MDA Geospatial Services presents a ten year anniversary image of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada to commemorate RADARSAT-1's first image from 1995 of the same area. < http://www.rsi.ca/news/press/2005/nr_rs10years__img_nov05.asp>


Kate Stephens
Marketing Communications Manager
MDA's Geospatial Services
Email Contact

About MDA: ( www.mdacorporation.com):

MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide. The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol (TSX:MDA).

About MDA's Geospatial Services International: ( www.rsi.ca or http://www.mdacorporation.com/products/geospatial.shtml):

MDA's Geospatial Services International (formerly RADARSAT International) provides Earth observation data, information products and services from the majority of commercially available radar and optical satellites. These products and services are used globally for resource mapping, environmental monitoring, offshore oil and gas exploration, ice reconnaissance, maritime surveillance and disaster management.

MDA holds the exclusive distribution rights to Canada's RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites. MDA will operate the RADARSAT-2 satellite when launched. RADARSAT-2 offers unparalleled imaging flexibility, dual polarization and full polarimetric imaging options, high-resolution and a highly responsive programming and delivery ground segment.

Related Website:

The Canadian Space Agency

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