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Canada to Launch Three Small Radar Satellites

Canadian Space Agency announced design contract with MDA for RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) comprising three small satellites equipped with C-band radar instruments. According to CSA press service the RCM project will become the outcome of public private partnership between Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) that has been awarded a 16-month contract valued at $40 million to begin the design of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM).

The RADARSAT Constellation is the evolution of the RADARSAT Program and will ensure the continued use by government scientific and commercial clients of data produced by Canada-s advanced C-band radar instrument.

“The federal government is proud to support this innovative Canadian-made technology, which will enhance our ability to detect oil spills and monitor floods, landslides and eruptions and do so in a more timely and comprehensive way than is currently possible,” said the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry.

According to the designers the main uses of RCM are expected to be in the areas of:

  • maritime surveillance (ship detection, ice monitoring, and oil spill detection);
  • disaster management;
  • ecosystem monitoring.
  • While the initial mission includes three satellites, the Constellation is designed to grow to include up to six satellites.

    “The development of this constellation will support the government in its efforts to assure sustainable development, manage natural resources, and exercise security and sovereignty, especially in the Arctic,” said Steve MacLean, President of the Canadian Space Agency.

    Presently there are two operational Canadian satellites RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 equipped with C-band radar instruments. They were orbited in 1995 and 2007 respectively.