Canadian RADARSAT-1 Satellite Images Support the International Humanitarian Aid Effort in Mozambique

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Tuesday, March 7, 2000

St Hubert, March 7, 2000 - Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Honourable John Manley, today announced that, since February 11, Canada's RADARSAT-1 Earth-observation satellite has been taking images that show the extent of flooding in Mozambique. The CSA, together with RADARSAT International Inc (RSI), the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) and the Department of National Defence (DND), is making the data gathered by RADARSAT-1 available to the Mozambican authorities to facilitate the management of humanitarian aid efforts and the evacuation of flood victims.

"By distributing RADARSAT-1 imagery to help with the humanitarian aid effort in Mozambique, the Canadian Space Agency, together with its partners, is fulfilling a key component of its mission, which is to promote the well-being of humanity," said Minister Manley.

A satellite image acquired on March 1st by RADARSAT-1, which orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 800 km, clearly shows the flooding along the Limpopo River to Xia Xia in southern Mozambique. The image was acquired using RADARSAT's Standard 7 beam, which nominally covers an area of 100 km by 100 km with a resolution of 25 metres. This image is available in digital form (TIF) at the following address:

RADARSAT-1's frequent revisit period and beam flexibility allow users to monitor an area reliably under emergency conditions. Services associated with the RADARSAT Program, such as emergency programming, near-real-time data processing and electronic delivery allow response agencies to quickly receive data and assess flooded regions during periods of crisis.

DND has assisted in the production of maps using the imagery received from RADARSAT-1. The maps, which have been requested by the World Food Programme and the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, will be updated twice per week for the next two weeks at least.

"Mapping specialists are processing RADARSAT's images and sending updated maps of the flood plain, electronically, to the aid organizations that need them. We will continue providing this service for the next couple of weeks," said the Honourable Art Eggleton, Minister of National Defense.

"Since its launch, in 1995, RADARSAT-1 has proven to be an extremely valuable tool on the human, environmental, scientific and technological levels. Because of its versatile applications, this Earth observation satellite proudly paves the way for its successor, RADARSAT-2, which is scheduled to be launched at the end of 2002," concluded Minister Manley.

RADARSAT International, a subsidiary of MacDonald Dettwiler, British-Columbia, provides satellite imagery, derived products, services and training for decision-making on global issues ranging from agriculture and ice reconnaissance to coastal mapping and disaster management. RADARSAT data is received in Canada at the ground stations operated by the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Natural Resources Canada.

Established in 1989 and located in St Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency is committed to leading the development and application of space-related knowledge for the well-being of Canadians and humanity. It manages and co-ordinates Canada's space activities, including satellite RADARSAT-1.

For more information:

Yanik Deschenes
Media and Public Relations
Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4350
Cell : (5l4) 945-4522
E-mail :

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