RADARSAT Constellation
Mission typeEarth observation satellites
OperatorCanadian Space Agency
COSPAR ID Edit this at Wikidata
Mission duration7 years (each satellite)[1]
Spacecraft properties
BusCanadian SmallSat Bus[1]
Launch mass4,200 kg (total mass of the 3 satellites)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date12 June 2019[2]
RocketFalcon 9
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeSun-synchronous orbit
Altitude600 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 operated by the Canadian Space Agency. The RCM's goal is to provide data for climate research and commercial applications including oil exploration, fishing, shipping, etc.[3] With satellites smaller than RADARSAT-2,[4] 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.[5] One of its most significant improvements is in its operational use of synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) data.[6] The primary goal of RCM is to provide continuous C-band SAR data to RADARSAT-2 users, as SAR imagery at a high temporal resolution is required by several users in the Canadian government.[6] Other improvements include more frequent area coverage of Canada and reduced risk of a service interruption.[7] The RCM will provide the world's most advanced, comprehensive method of maintaining Arctic sovereignty, conducting coastal surveillance, and ensuring maritime security.[8]

The three satellites were launched on 12 June 2019 at 14:17 UTC on board a Falcon 9 rocket.[2][9] Originally booster B1050 was planned to be used for this mission. However, after the failed landing of B1050, B1051 was used in this mission.[10]


Working alongside industry partners, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is in charge of mission planning and operations from their headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.[11] The project was accepted given these three objectives would be met: deliver C-band data to users within the Canadian government, produce daily coverage for ice, ship, and oil spill detection, and meet financial constraints to minimize cost of the program.[6] The Canadian Government will own the satellites and data and will be responsible for its dissemination. Several requirements were established for the RCM by the Canadian government. RCM is required to be able to access 95% of any point on the globe on an average day. It is also required to have a multi-polarization function to increase flexibility in its function, as well as be able to capture subsidence in terrain using Phase Preserving ScanSAR Processing.[6] The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) includes three identical Earth observation satellites. The prime contractor on the project is MDA and it was designed for three main uses:[12][13]

RADARSAT collects data mainly from the land surface of Canada and the oceans around the country.[14] 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).[15]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Satellite characteristics. RADARSAT Mission. Canadian Space Agency.
  2. ^ a b Agency, Canadian Space (2019-06-12). "Canada's next-generation RADARSAT satellite constellation successfully launches to space". gcnws. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  3. ^ "Radar Satellite (RADARSAT)".
  4. ^ "MDA Starts Work on Next Generation Satellite Constellation". Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  5. ^ "MDA Space Missions - What We Do - Satellite Missions - RADARSAT Constellation Mission". Archived from the original on 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  6. ^ a b c d "RADARSAT Constellation - eoPortal Directory - Satellite Missions". directory.eoportal.org. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  7. ^ "Canada To Build, Launch Three More Satellites". Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  8. ^ Pugliese, David. "Radarsat Constellation to track ships, provide surveillance over Arctic and other regions - satellites successfully launched". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  9. ^ "SpaceX Awarded Launch Reservation Contract for Largest Canadian Space Program". Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  10. ^ Ralph, Eric (2019-04-26). "SpaceX ships Falcon 9 booster west for second California launch of 2019". TESLARATI. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  11. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM)". www.asc-csa.gc.ca. 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  12. ^ "COM DEV to Participate in Canada's New RADARSAT Constellation Mission". Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  13. ^ RADARSAT - Main applications. Canadian Space Agency.
  14. ^ "RCM".
  15. ^ RADARSAT - Components and specifications. Canadian Space Agency. Accessed on 16 January 2019.