RADARSAT-1 Nine Years Old

Longueuil, November 4, 2004 – RADARSAT-1, Canada’s “eye-in-the-sky,” today completes its ninth year of operation-well beyond its five-year nominal lifetime. Over the years, it has delivered precision images and garnered 15% of the world’s Earth observation market for Canada. Canadian Space Agency satellite operations engineers continue to innovate and extend the life of the world’s first commercial microwave radar satellite.

“A clear example of Canadian space innovation, ingenuity, and expertise, RADARSAT-1 has greatly surpassed its life expectancy and continues to deliver images with pinpoint accuracy to clients in Canada and around the world,” said Marc Garneau, President of the Canadian Space Agency.

With its versatile radar, RADARSAT-1 captures images day and night and in all weather conditions. As Canada’s sentinel, it is an integral part of coastal surveillance and maritime pollution patrol, supporting the Canadian Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the protection of our navigable waters.

The Canadian Space Agency’s RADARSAT-1 also plays a key role in the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters which includes the European Space Agency, the French space agency, NOAA (U.S.A.), and the Indian Space Research Organization. Established through the framework of the UNISPACE III Conference of the United Nations in 1999, and inaugurated in October 2000, the International Charter is the expression of a collective resolve to put space technology at the service of relief authorities in the event of a major disaster.

Designed initially for frequent repeated surveillance of the entire Arctic region, the RADARSAT-1 mission provides detailed information in the fields of agriculture, cartography, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, ice studies, and coastal monitoring. With the collaboration of RADARSAT International, this mission supports over 600 clients and partners in 60 countries, through a network of 28 certified ground stations throughout the world.

RADARSAT-2 and the future Canada’s next generation Earth-observation satellite is the product of a public-private sector partnership. The Canadian Space Agency and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates are working together on the construction of RADARSAT-2, which is scheduled for launch in 2005. It will strengthen Canada’s leadership role in the design, deployment, and operation of radar technology, and serve to strengthen the Earth observation business in Canada.

RADARSAT-2 will support the growing demands of Government of Canada partners and international clients for more advanced instruments and discrete information that actively supports environmental monitoring and the protection of natural resources.

For more information on RADARSAT and the Canadian Space Agency, please visit