The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is a 2018 space launch mission by the Government of Canada that will consist of a three-spacecraft fleet of Earth observation satellites. With satellites smaller than RADARSAT-2, 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. Improvements include more frequent area coverage of Canada and reduced risk of a service interruption. The launch of the three satellites that will form the constellation is scheduled for 2018. As of October 2017[update], the target launch timeframe is Q3, 2018. Manufacturer MDA contracted the launch to SpaceX with a Falcon 9 rocket.
Government and commercial applications broadly include:
- national security
- resource management (e.g., disaster management and ecosystem monitoring)
- sustainable development
- maritime surveillance (e.g., ship detection)
- monitoring/tracking ice
- detecting oil spills
- monitoring floods, landslides, eruptions
- aiding forest firefighting
The prime contractor on the project is MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates.
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