Double views from ERS mission adding depth to Canadian maps

Double views from ERS mission adding depth to Canadian maps

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Unique views of Earth afforded by a pioneering twin ESA radar satellite flight has brought an extra dimension to maps of Canada’s newest territory, the results winning praise from the Canadian government.

Nunavut is the latest and also largest territory of Canada: located up in the frozen northeast, Nunavut has a population of only around 29 300 but an area the size of Western Europe. The Canadian government is currently refining and updating its geographic information for the entire country and Nunavut in particular, as a way of encouraging its development.

For the latest of a series of projects charting this region, Vexcel Canada has completed an additional 21 digital elevation model (DEM) map sheets for the Canadian government agency charged with mapping the nation’s topography, or ‘lay of the land’: the Centre for Topographic Information Sherbrooke (CTIS).

Vexcel Canada has now produced complete elevation data for 44 map sheets across Nunavut Territory, meeting stringent specifications from CTIS for Canadian Digital Elevation Data (CDED) of better than 7.5 m vertical accuracy at around 20 m postings. The project was completed under a demanding production schedule and resulted in high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and high praise from the Canadian government.

For each of the products completed for CTIS, Vexcel leveraged ERS tandem data and its own EarthView InSAR production software, customised to allow for such large area elevation mapping. The ERS data was provided by ESA, while the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) gave support in scientific and technical testing, as well as methodological development towards producing the tailor-made InSAR DEM software.