RADARSAT Constellation

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RADARSAT Constellation
Mission typeEarth observation satellites
OperatorCanadian Space Agency
Mission duration7 years (each satellite))[1]
Spacecraft properties
BusCanadian SmallSat Bus[1]
ManufacturerMacDonald Dettwiler
Launch mass1,400 kg (total mass of the 3 satellites)[1]
Start of mission
Launch dateMarch 2019[2]
RocketFalcon 9
Orbital parameters
Regimesun-synchronous orbit
Altitude586-615 km
Inclination97.74° [1]
Period96.4 min
BandC band
Frequency5.405 GHz
Bandwidth100 MHz

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is a three-spacecraft fleet of Earth observation satellites by the Canadian Space Agency. With satellites smaller than RADARSAT-2,[3] the RCM will provide new applications—made possible through the constellation approach—as well as continuing to provide C-band radar data to RADARSAT-2 users.[4] Improvements include more frequent area coverage of Canada and reduced risk of a service interruption.[5]

The launch of the three satellites that will form the constellation is scheduled for March 2019.[6] Manufacturer MDA contracted the launch to SpaceX with a Falcon 9 rocket.[7] The booster intended for this mission, B1050 failed to land so it's unknown which booster will be used to launch the RCM.[8]


The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) includes three identical Earth observation satellites. The prime contractor on the project is MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates and it was designed for three main uses:[9][10]

  • Maritime surveillance (ice, surface wind, oil pollution and ship monitoring)
  • Disaster management (mitigation, warning, response and recovery)
  • Ecosystem monitoring (agriculture, wetlands, forestry and coastal change monitoring)

Its synthetic aperture radars (SAR) have a mass of 400 kg each, and a resolution of 1 × 3 m.[1] As secondary payload, it includes Automatic Identification System for ships (AIS).[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Satellite characteristics. RADARSAT Mission. Canadian Space Agency.
  2. ^ "RADARSAT Constellation: A major milestone reached". October 16, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  3. ^ "MDA Starts Work on Next Generation Satellite Constellation". Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  4. ^ "MDA Space Missions - What We Do - Satellite Missions - RADARDAT Constellation Mission". Archived from the original on 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  5. ^ "Canada To Build, Launch Three More Satellites". Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  6. ^ "Launch Schedule – Spaceflight Now". Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  7. ^ "SpaceX Awarded Launch Reservation Contract for Largest Canadian Space Program". Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  8. ^ Ralph, Eric (2019-01-16). "SpaceX's partial Falcon 9 landing failure could delay next West Coast launch". TESLARATI.com. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  9. ^ "COM DEV to Participate in Canada's New RADARSAT Constellation Mission". Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  10. ^ RADARSAT - Main applications. Canadian Space Agency.
  11. ^ RADARSAT - Components and specifications. Canadian Space Agency. Accessed on 16 January 2019.

External links[edit]