Radartsat-1 Network Stations Meeting Operational Requirements Worldwide

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2001

St-Hubert, July 26, 2001 - The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and RADARSAT International (RSI) announced today that two international network stations have been awarded RADARSAT-1 product certification. The Geo-informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) located in Bangkok, Thailand, and the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) based in Cuiaba, Brazil, increase RSI's network of operational and product-certified ground stations to 14 worldwide.

"With such a comprehensive network of receiving stations located around the globe, Canada's RADARSAT-1 satellite will continue to prove its capabilities delivering near-real time, reliable monitoring services for applications such as flood monitoring, maritime pollution monitoring and illegal ship/fishing surveillance," said Dr. Satish Srivastava, Manager of Operations Planning at the Canadian Space Agency.

RSI, a subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), was the first satellite data and information provider in the industry to institute jointly with CSA a product certification program, which requires that network stations meet CSA and RSI product formats and standards specifications. Stations gain certification by demonstrating their ability to process received data to RADARSAT program-compliant Level 1 imagery product standards. For example, the Path Image product could be readily integrated and displayed by commercial off-the-shelf software. Certified network stations have the ability to broaden their distribution channels and penetrate a much wider market. The certification program also ensures that clients will receive image products that meet the same standard and format, regardless of which network station produces them. Network stations are a significant element of the RADARSAT program because they provide both RSI and end users access to greater global radar satellite coverage for near-real time operations. RSI's goal is to lend support to this important network to help stations respond to market demands and operational needs.

"Network stations have the expertise and resources to build an operational business by providing strategic, competitive satellite-derived intelligence to a variety of users", said Dr. Pierre Engel, RSI's Director of International Network Stations. "RSI supports this endeavour by helping stations move away from the concept of just selling imagery to adopting a business strategy that focuses on the supply of practical information. With this model, stations are positioning themselves as an information source for operational needs within their own local market."

This program will evolve in the future to include the certification of services better suited to capitalize on the operational application potential offered by a constellation of satellites in a ground station environment. As near real-time activities, such as ship detection, maritime oil pollution, and crop monitoring require constant acquisitions and timely information delivery, a distributed network of stations will ensure information is delivered on time and in the format specified.

About Canada's RADARSAT-1 Earth-observation Satellite

As the world's first operationally-oriented radar satellite, RADARSAT is equipped with an advanced synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that allows collection of images regardless of weather or illumination conditions. RADARSAT's unique capabilities, including eight metre resolution and near-real time services, open a vast new array of applications around the world. RADARSAT-2 is under construction and is expected to be launched in 2003.

About the Canadian Space Agency (

Established in 1989 with its headquarters situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment: Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space Technologies; Space Qualification Services and Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

About RADARSAT International (

RSI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (TSE-MDA,, is a worldwide provider of products and information solutions derived from Earth-observation (EO) satellite data.

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For information:

Andre Leclair
Senior Communications Advisor
Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4370
Fax: (450) 926-4352

Cory Rossignol or Kate Stephens
Corporate Communications
RADARSAT International
Tel.: (604) 231-5000
Fax: (604) 231-4900 or

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