Canada and the United States Join Forces Spurring Application of RADARSAT-1 Earth Observation Research

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Saint-Hubert (Quebec) August 15, 2000 -Surendra Parashar, Director of Satellite Operations at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Jack Kaye, Director, Research Division-Office of Earth Science of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), today announced the winning projects selected for the Application Development Research Opportunity-2 (ADRO) program. Participants selected through this program will be developing innovative approaches and applications for data acquired by Canada's renowned Earth Observation satellite, RADARSAT-1.

"ADRO-2 is building bridges between academic researchers and established space-based companies and forging alliances with international partners to enhance our knowledge, expertise and technologies applied to the growing field of Earth Observation. Canada can be proud of its leadership, innovation and on-going achievement through RADARSAT 1, in this exciting field which is expanding the application of science to meet the evolving needs of humanity," declared Surendra Parashar.

"By participating in this project, NASA is joining Canada to reaffirm its continuing commitment to foster the development of new applications in the field of Earth Observation to further our knowledge and expertise in the management of our natural resources and the monitoring of our global environment," said NASA's Jack Kaye. NASA will provide research teams with data and funding, setting aside $2 million per year over two years to support projects selected through this program.

The Application Development Research Opportunity Program will stimulate the research community to develop new applications and operational programs that use Earth Observation data delivered by RADARSAT-1. Through ADRO-2, the Canadian Space Agency, in partnership with NASA, is encouraging researchers and industry to build on the existing base of knowledge and expertise to develop innovative applications that take advantage of the large bank of archived RADARSAT-1 data.

RADARSAT-1 has been steadily collecting images of the Earth since its launch in 1995 and now has nearly 100,000 images providing an historical record of the Earth's environment. These projects should demonstrate either the ability of RADARSAT-1 to support disaster assessment or relief efforts, or apply the use of the Earth Observation data for use in new operational environments.


Earth Observation has been a focal point for the Canadian Space Program since the very beginning. The development of the Synthetic Aperture Radar technology in Canada not only produced the world's first digital SAR image from space in 1978, but also led to the design, deployment, and operation of RADARSAT-1. Since its launch, RADARSAT-1 has provided Canada and the world with an operational radar satellite system that has demonstrated its ability to provide timely and critical data to assist disaster relief and emergency rescue efforts as well as for renewable and non-renewable resource mapping.

RADARSAT-1 has also proven its worth to scientists and commercial users in the fields of agriculture, cartography, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, ice studies, mineral and oil exploration. In cooperation with RADARSAT International, RADARSAT-1 has already produced mosaics of Antarctica, Canada, and most recently the United States, with the mapping of Africa expected to be completed in 2001.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989, with its headquarters located in Saint Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency ensures that Canadians in all regions learn and benefit from the development and application of space knowledge, science and technology. The Canadian Space Agency supports and promotes a highly competitive space industry, contributes to the sustainable development of Canada and the world, and fosters initiatives to increase awareness of the Canadian Space Program throughout the world.

With almost half of Canada's GDP growth in the knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy, the Canadian Space Program is a key driver behind continued leadership on the world stage. Based on extensive and open consultation with Canadian stakeholders, opportunities were identified for potential cooperation with international partners in the areas of: Earth Observation, Space Science, Human Presence in Space, Satellite Communications and in the development of Generic Space Technologies. Canadian participation in these key sectors are providing new opportunities for industry and scientists, and long-term social and economic benefits for all Canadians.

About NASA

Since its inception in 1958, NASA has accomplished many great scientific and technological feats in air and space. NASA remains a leading force in scientific research and in stimulating public interest in aerospace exploration, as well as science and technology in general, and manages four large strategic enterprises, consisting of: The Office of Aero-Space Technology, Human Exploration and Development of Space, Earth Science, and Space Science. NASA is deeply committed to spreading the unique knowledge that flows from its aeronautics and space research.

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Backgrounders, project profiles and contacts are available for downloading at the following address: Information:
Caroline Lavallée
Senior Communications Advisor
Canadian Space Agency
Tel (450) 926-4370

David Steitz
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Tel (202) 358-1730

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